Mari Isdale was first diagnosed with bowel cancer back in 2015 when she was just 31-year-old and working as a doctor for NHS England.
Mari endured 80 long and gruelling chemotherapy and immunotherapy sessions and was given anti-cancer drug Cetuximab through the NHS.
The now-37-year-old was told in 2018 that she was cancer free and returned back to work full-time in a fertility unit to help patients start families.
The selfless health worker from Manchester had made the move to help others after her cancer treatment had taken away Mari’s own ability to have children.
In December last year the NHS worker received the devastating news that the cancer had returned and that it was now incurable.
They were also dealt another blow after finding out that the NHS would not be able to provide Cetuximab for a second time despite it being able to significantly prolong life.
Family member Cassie Isdale has now set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise £25,000 to pay for the treatment themselves.
The fundraiser, set up yesterday, has already raised over £24,000 from hundreds of donors from across the UK.
The GoFundMe page reads: “To say it was like a bomb going off is an understatement, we were all numb with shock and disbelief and absolutely heartbroken.
“Mari’s treatment had been so effective the first-time round that her medical team recommended the same treatment again.
“Unfortunately to further add to the despair and the devastation of being told she had incurable cancer at the age of 37.
“She was dealt the brutal blow, that despite the recommendations of several well-renowned professors and oncology experts that Cetuximab use is beneficial in her case and could significantly prolong her life or even put her back into remission, it would not be provided on the NHS.
“This is because NHS England currently has an arbitrary rule that if a person ever had Cetuximab as part of treatment for bowel cancer in the past and is off it for more than six weeks, it cannot be funded by the NHS England again, despite its proven medical benefits.
“Worst still, this drug is freely available to patients in similar situations throughout the rest of the UK, and this discriminatory rule specifically applies only in England.”
“We therefore have been paying privately for Cetuximab but the costs are extortionately expensive.
Cassie added: “After seven cycles of treatment, we were very relieved that her scans showed a good response with regression of disease, again demonstrating that Cetuximab use is definitely helpful and beneficial in her case.
“This treatment however could go on for a number of years, but unfortunately with limited finances and without help and kind donations, this will not be sustainable long-term solely by us.”
To donate, please visit https://gofund.me/cde34f60