Dying mum fights to have more time with her children

A family has been left reeling after a loving mum was told that she could only have weeks to live.

Ann-Marie McLeod, from Truro, was first diagnosed with cancer last year but since then, the 47-year-old fitness instructor’s diagnosis has got progressively worse.

Several weeks ago Ann-Marie underwent lifesaving surgery.

At that point, the cancer was stage four (terminal), having spread from her cervix into the uterus, ovaries and liver.

Ann-Marie was dealt with a prognosis of two years to live provided that chemotherapy was continued, but now, after returning home from yet another stint in hospital, has been told the cancer in her liver has grown and chemotherapy is no longer an option as her body is too weak.

Ann-Marie’s family have been told the bombshell that experts think she only has a matter of weeks to live.

Daughter Kaya said: “It’s been a long journey and mum was only diagnosed last March.

“Since then it’s got progressively worse with each diagnosis leading to where we are now.

“My mum is very head strong, very independent and absolutely full of life.

“Her biggest love is our dog, walking, being outside in nature and dancing. She was a fitness instructor before she got ill and was even dancing around the house when she first became ill last year.

Ann-Marie McLeod has been described as kind, spirited and generous

“She is very motivated and when she knows what she wants she’ll make sure it happens. She has a deep empathetic heart, is very kind, very spirited and very generous. She has a lot of love.”

The family are pinning their final hopes on a treatment called Dendritic Cell Therapy. It costs £25,000 and can prolong life or even reverse cancer, but of course there is no guarantee it will be successful.

Kaya added: “We have one more shot at keeping our treasured Mother here with us for longer, but it is very expensive, and may not be possible. We have to try though. How can we not? Mum’s life is worth an amount of money.

“We will be upping the fundraising, as well as looking into loans. If the treatment is not possible, the money will go to ensuring that mum is comfortable and has everything she needs.”

Dendritic Cell Therapy consists of five steps. Firstly a simple blood draw is performed. Then, in the laboratory, monocyte cells are filtered out and exposed to specific growth factors to turn into dendritic cells.

Ann-Marie McLeod with daughter Kaya and son Jacob

The dendritic cells are then “primed” by being exposed to specific cancer antigens. After seven days in the laboratory the trained and concentrated dendritic cells will be administered back to the patient through a simple injection or infusion.

Cytotoxic T-cells are activated and bind with cancer cells, causing them to die off (apoptosis).

To donate to Ann-Marie’s family’s fundraiser click here

Cornwall Live