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Let's help Natalie beat cancer!
£1,335 raised
7% of £20k goal
29 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jul 29, 2014
Natalie's doctors believe palliative is the only option for her, but she has met a doctor who believes he can prolong her life with alternative treatments: http://www.drsharmadiagnostic...

In February 2014, Natalie Hurley, just 35 years old, had an incredibly painful proximal hip and femur replacement due to the cancer she has been battling since 2011 spreading once more. She also underwent more radiotherapy. Due to this surgery, Natalie is now registered disabled and often needs to use a wheelchair.  Devastatingly, Natalie has just learned that there is a new cancerous tumour in her leg. Surgery is unlikely to be an option, with palliative chemotherapy and radiotherapy the next step.Natalie's doctors believe palliative is the only option for her, but she has met a doctor who believes he can prolong her life with alternative treatments: This treatment is costly and not available on the NHS. Natalie needs to raise money quickly in order to start this treatment at the earliest opportunity, to give her and her family the best chance of a future together.

Natalie has been living through a dreadful ordeal for the past three years. After being given radiotherapy and chemotherapy for mouth cancer (see story below), it was discovered in 2013 that the cancer had spread to her right lung. Natalie then faced the ordeal of major lung surgery, twice, which unfortunately resulted in her having her lung removed.

So how did the nightmare begin? Natalie was eight weeks pregnant with her third child when she noticed a small mouth ulcer on the side of her tongue. She thought it was merely an annoyance, but became more concerned when it had still not disappeared after a few weeks. 'It was quite painful, but as far as I could tell it was a typical mouth ulcer,' says Natalie, who runs an embroidery and printing business with her husband Phil. 'It was slightly smaller than a 5p coin and white on top. I put up with it for a fortnight, then went to France on holiday for three weeks and forgot about it.'

The ulcer first appeared in July 2011, shortly after Natalie's mother had died from breast cancer, so she believed it was caused by the stress of that ordeal, combined with her pregnancy. But after six weeks Natalie saw a doctor. 'The GP said it was an ulcer and I was quite happy. But during a routine dental appointment the following week, I asked the dentist to look at it,' she says. 'I could tell by her face that something was wrong - she said mouth ulcers shouldn't last longer than two weeks.'

Her dentist referred Natalie to a specialist, but the letter went astray. While waiting for an appointment, Natalie visited her GP again, but was told not to worry. More than two months since first spotting the ulcer, and desperate for a diagnosis, she saw another dentist, who immediately referred her to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset. 'By then it was hurting most of the time and kept growing - it had trebled in size. I took painkillers, but could feel it almost burrowing into my tongue,' she says. Doctors took a biopsy and Natalie received a phone call within days, asking her to see a consultant maxillofacial surgeon with a specialist interest in head and neck cancer. He revealed she had a type of mouth cancer called squamous cell carcinoma - a disease that usually affects only the over-50s. 'My world fell apart,' says Natalie, who lives with Phil and their sons Rocca,  Jensen and Tait, in Exmouth, Devon. 'I thought I was just going to have a simple operation to have an ulcer taken off.' She had to have, in fact, half her tongue removed, followed by reconstructive surgery using skin grafts from her arm and stomach.

It would be great if everyone could help Natalie get some way towards her target and set her on a possible road to a prolonged life with her cherished family.

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