Bethan Foley, 19, first reported her symptoms in April 2017 but was initially misdiagnosed, which meant that by the time she was correctly diagnosed, her cancer was already at a severe level. On Thursday 6 February, Bethan’s oncologist at the Teenage Cancer Unit at Bristol Royal Infirmary told her that her life expectancy with no further chemotherapy was only months.
Bethan, who attended Purbrook School in Portsmouth before moving to Ralph Allen in Coombe Down, was working as an apprentice nursery teacher at our onsite nursery.
Bethan suffers from extremely rare Grey Zone Lymphoma, so called because it displays characteristics of two types of cancers but falls into a ‘grey zone’, which means there’s no clear consensus about how it should be treated. Bethan’s older sister Hannah, 21, has started a Go Fund Me appeal to pay for pain relief and improve her sister’s end-of-life experience.
Hannah explains, “Bethan has been offered another chemotherapy regime, but there is no way of knowing whether it would actually help reduce or cure the cancer. Bethan has decided the pain of chemo is too much to bear – and as her heart is working at 40% and she has only one fully functioning lung, there are too many risks involved. She’s using alternative medicine, which is incredibly costly at well over £500 a month, but is effective as pain relief for now.
“Mum and I are hoping to take her on the Eurostar as she’s too ill to fly, and we’d love to be able to take her to see some of her favourite singers, as well as taking her on other day trips.”
Hannah, who’s currently at University of Southampton, is also hoping to use some of the money raised to support their mum, Sarah, a single mum with a full-time job as CEO of national charity Timebanking UK. Hannah explains, “I was hoping to use some of the money so Mum can access some private counselling or therapy – the waiting list for therapy from charities is about six months.”
If you’d like to support Hannah’s fundraising drive, her Go Fund Me link is included below.