Brave Lorraine Wilby, 56, said she’s come to terms that she probably won't make it to her 60th birthday but said she “had to survive” to see her daughter's wedding day.
The wedding has been postponed to October this year due to Covid, but Lorraine faces a race against time as she was only given nine months to live in April.
Lorraine, from Wakefield, was first diagnosed with ocular melanoma, an extremely rare form of cancer that affects the eye found in just six in a million people, in January 2018.
She’d been suffering from headaches for about a month before the New Year before she was referred to an optician who thought she had cataracts.
But further tests revealed a far more sinister diagnosis - and Lorraine had her life turned “upside down”.
Sadly, tests last April showed that the cancer had spread to her liver and doctors believed she had between six and nine months left to live.
She spent the lockdown bringing smiles to children as she dressed up as superheroes and went on fundraising runs - and raised more than £10,000.
But she now needs to raise £120,000 herself for specialist treatment which isn’t available with the NHS which would allow her to walk her daughter down the aisle.
The chemosaturation therapy, which seals the liver and allows targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs, could potentially give her three more years with her daughter Lauren, 22, and two-year-old grandson Adrian.
Lorraine, said: “I need to survive to see her in her dress, and I need to see her walk down the aisle in her dress. The treatment would mean everything to me. It would give me hope that I could survive beyond my 60th birthday.
“I was initially given between six and nine months to live. But with the treatment we could be looking at a few more years. I’m terrified of the idea that I won’t be able to be there for my grandson.”
When Lorraine first went to Specsavers she said she laughed herself out of the test as she couldn’t believe she could have cataracts at her age.
She was referred to Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, one of four specialist centres for ocular melanoma in the country, and had a successful surgery to remove her eye on January 18, 2018.
She thought that once the eye was removed she would no longer be at risk for the cancer spreading, but doctors warned her there was a 50 percent chance it would spread to her liver.
The grandmother-of-one said she lived in constant anxiety each time she went for tests as she feared the worst.
In April 2020, tests revealed she had six lesions in her liver and that the cancer had spread aggressively.
Lorraine said: “When I came out of Specsavers I was laughing. I am young to have a cataract so I was joking about it. It just seemed like the craziest thing. But when they told me it was cancer, I collapsed in tears. I didn’t expect a diagnosis like that. I didn’t even know you could get eye cancer.
“I was so shocked. It was a whirlwind. But I thought if they removed the eye I’d be all clear from the cancer. When I was told it may spread I was living in constant anxiety because I didn’t want to get bad news. And then I got the final dagger. It has spread and there’s no cure for this cancer. It will get me.”
The former hire controller was furloughed in March at the start of the pandemic and was made redundant in August, but said she doesn’t intend to return to work, focusing instead on time she has left with her family.
She said the most important thing in her world right now is being with her family and walking her daughter down the aisle on her wedding day in October this year.
She added: "I’ve always been a really positive person and that we need to make the most of our lives - but this has amplified that belief. I love my family so much and I want to do all the things I love.
“I’ve been more involved in my life and with the people around me because you just don’t know how important it is. We don’t know what’s round the corner and I feel like I’m playing catch up.
“Four years ago I just lived my life without thinking about life ending, but now the most important thing in the world to me is my family. I just want to be with them for as long as I can and enjoy every last moment.”
Lorraine is hoping to raise enough money to pay for the life-changing procedure, which costs £40,000 per session and needs to be repeated three to six times.
You can make a donation here.