A DESPERATE £200,000 fundraising drive is underway to send a West Yorkshire mother-of-four to Germany for potentially lifesaving cancer treatment.
Sally Major, 33, has been warned by UK doctors that her advanced bowel cancer is incurable but she is determined to undergo cutting edge immunotherapy.
The mother to four young children has already had one week of treatment in Germany at a cost of £30,000 but it is estimated that the additional cycles she needs will cost at least £200,000.
Mrs Major and her husband Liam, from Silsden, near Keighley, have remortgaged their house and sold their car to pay for treatment so far.
But now a major fundraising effort has begun to raise the rest of the money as it is hoped Mrs Major will be well enough to return to Germany this weekend.
Mr Major, 31, said they refused to accept the poor prognosis given to his wife by NHS medics.
You’ve got two options - you can roll over and die or you can stand up and fight.Liam Major
“You’ve got two options - you can roll over and die or you can stand up and fight,” he said. “We decided to stand up and fight, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
Mrs Major had been suffering symptoms and visiting her GP for four years before she was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in May 2015.
She needed emergency surgery immediately as her bowel was completely obstructed. Following that she started further treatment to tackle the disease, which by then had spread to other parts of her body.
“They gave her a prognosis of two-and-a-half years,” said Mr Major, who runs an asbestos consultancy.
The mother of Ryan, 13, Adam, 11, Maisy, six, and two-year-old George underwent around 20 cycles of gruelling chemotherapy and has also had other, self-funded, treatment in the UK whilst battling constant sickness and pain.
After researching other options, the couple discovered the Hallwang Clinic near Stuttgart, which offers immunotherapy drugs which are not available through the NHS.
The treatment uses medication which can reset the immune system to attack cancerous cells.
Last year former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell launched a fundraising appeal to pay for her treatment at the clinic after revealing she had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Mr Major said the treatment had put some patients into remission and they were determined that his wife should undergo it.
Before Christmas she spent a week at the clinic undergoing immunotherapy and being treated for pancreatitis.
She returned home for the festive season but has then had two stays in Airedale Hospital after developing sepsis.
Mr Major said this needed to be under control before she could return to Germany for the next round of treatment.
“She’s improving day by day, she has been very weak and struggling to walk,” he said. “Our plan now is that...we will fly out to Germany. After that, all being well, we will come back for two weeks and then go back for another week.”
He said they had funded initial treatment themselves but now needed help to cover the cost each time she has to go to Germany.
“Initially, it’s going to cost upwards of £200,000,” he said.
Further costs would be incurred each year following this main treatment, he added, so they were unsure of the final figure.
Family and friends are running a series of fundraising events but Mr Major appealed for support to enable his wife to undergoing the potentially lifesaving treatment.
He said the way she had coped with her illness was inspirational: “Sally has her down times, but most of the time she’s a warrior. She’s very positive and just carries on with it.”
To donate, visit www.youcaring.com/sallymajor-680286, or for information on fundraising or events, follow So, Sally Can Wait on Facebook.