Last year with the help of our supporters Fight Cancer Foundation kept 875 families together throughout the fight of their lives.
Families like Shelley and Andrew’s.
It all started in October 2012 when Shelley and Andrew were returning from a weekend away. During the flight Shelley felt a painful snap in her chest that turned out to be a broken rib and led to the family receiving the worst possible news. Shelley was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
After four stem cell transplants and multiple rounds of intensive chemotherapy, Shelley and Andrew believe that the strength and courage they needed to face the cancer and treatment was that they were able to face it together – as a couple and as a family.
“When the situation got tough, our family pulled together. We found comfort in being able to have everyone by Shelley’s bedside, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Fight Cancer Foundation,” share Shelley and Andrew.
A donation to Fight Cancer Foundation means we can continue to support people living with cancer through the terror and trauma with their families by their sides.
Family support is a crucial part of cancer treatment and can improve response to therapy and reduce recovery time.
Shelley and Andrew had to travel interstate for Shelley to receive her treatments and thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide Shelley, Andrew and their family with accommodation close to the hospital so they could focus on Shelley getting better.
With the help of our supporters, we were even able to keep Shelley’s family close by when she experienced life threatening transplant complications that resulted in Shelley being moved to intensive care and placed on life support for 35 days. It was a worrying and stressful time for the family.
You might know yourself that when people are fighting for their lives, having loved ones nearby can provide great strength.
Which makes the next part of Shelley’s story so amazing.
On the night Shelley was rushed to intensive care, her daughter Erin gave birth to a healthy baby boy Seth, Shelley and Andrew’s first grandchild. The birth of a new baby is a momentous occasion for any family, but the birth of Seth had the most incredible consequences.
When families would normally be celebrating a new life, Andrew, Erin and her sister Amy were told that Shelley’s situation was dire and to prepare to switch off the life support machines. Fearing Shelley may never get to meet her new grandson, Erin brought Seth to the hospital and laid him on Shelley’s chest.
“We hoped that somehow Shelley would know that she had a new grandson to love and spoil and to fight for life.” says Erin.
And from that moment Shelley began responding to treatment!
With her family – and new grandson – by her side, Shelley battled through a further five months of recovery and rehabilitation to finally enjoy an emotional homecoming.
Shelley’s future is still challenging. After 12 months of total remission recent tests have shown the cancer has returned. Shelley and her family will need all the love, positivity and support to battle cancer yet again. Your support will make sure they can fight this battle together.
After four stem cell transplants, another transplant is not an option for Shelley. Shelley is currently taking part in a drug trial that hopes to attack the cancer cells and stop further progression of the disease. Even though there is only a slim hope that the trial will stop her cancer, Shelley hopes that the results of the trial will help others.
Today Shelley is making the most of her time with her family, especially her grandson Seth. Whenever Shelley has a bad day, she only has to hold young Seth to feel better and ready to fight another day.