Forty-three year old Kiama doctor and mother of two, Kelly McLean, has known from just a couple of days after she was diagnosed that any treatment she would undergo for her breast cancer would be to extend her life, not to cure her.
After three and a half years of treatment, and its harsh side effects, Kelly and her family now have the hope of benefiting from the development of Kisqali, a new cancer treatment that substantially improves survival rates for metastatic breast cancer by halting progression.
The problem is it is very expensive.
“Realistically Kel can’t start Kisqali unless she can fund at least 6 months of treatment ($30,000) as a minimum and we would prefer 12 months ($60,000),” says her sister Lee Anne McLean-Jones, who has started a crowd funding campaign to help raise the money quickly.
“We are aiming to raise $120,000 to fund two years of treatment with the hopes it may become available on the PBS by then.
“Asking for money is hard, but what we’re really asking for is time.
“Every day she gets to spend with her two young daughters, Eve and Isabelle, husband Matthew, and family, is a day we cherish.”
With time being critical, the family is looking to raise the first $30,000 within a month. At time of going to print, over $23,000 has already been donated.
“Whilst we are truly thankful for extended time the treatments have given her, the last few years have been incredibly tough on her two little girls and Matthew,” says Lee Anne, who has come over from Wales with her family to help for the long term.
Kelly and her family moved to Kiama from Wales five years ago, and she still works as a GP in Shell Cove as much as she can.
“The latest run of chemotherapy has come with a host of intolerable side effects. It has meant Kelly is staying alive a little longer, but is missing out on key events in Eve and Isabelle’s lives. Many of you will be able to imagine this kind of heartbreak.
“Eve and Isabelle are struggling with challenges most other children have no understanding of, nor should they; wondering whether Mum will be here for their birthday or Christmas.
“They are desperate for their Mum to stay in their lives, but our government-funded treatment options are exhausted with chemotherapy the last option for a comfortable way to die rather than live.
“We remain eternally thankful for the support of friends, family and those touched by Kelly’s struggle to remain in our lives.”
Details: If you would like to make a contribution to the cause, go to www.gofundme.com/Kiscali-for-Kelly or make a direct deposit into BSB: 032689 Account: 210185