A BRAVE mum who is raising £50,000 for cancer treatment not available on the NHS has thanked family, friends and the community for rallying around to help her cause.
Johannah Aynsley, 41, was pregnant with her daughter Willow six years ago when a growth on the outside of her uterus was first spotted.
It was dismissed as a fibroid and later as various conditions including IBS and also a prolapse – only three years later in 2018 was it confirmed as stage four ovarian cancer.
Single mum Johannah, originally from Lees but now living in the Cotswolds, went into remission after treatment but the cancer returned two years later.
The former Saddleworth School pupil had further chemotherapy and operations to remove her ovaries, uterus and womb, but the cancer spread to her bowel.
Her medication is now maintenance treatment rather than curative and includes oral drug niraparib which she takes at home.
However, determined to fight on, Johannah found out about dendritic cell therapy (DCT), an experimental treatment only introduced in 2017 and currently not available on the NHS.
Family, friends and the community have rallied around with fundraising events and donations, and so far she has raised just over £43,000 towards her treatment.
Johannah, who works in the charities and festivals industry, said: “The support has been incredible and what people have done for me is unbelievable, even people I’ve only met once.
“There’s two more events coming up in September in Saddleworth, one organised by a school friend and one by my family. Everyone has done so much to help.
“The hospital is very fatalistic about my cancer but I am hopeful. I really want to be able to be here for my daughter. I don’t know if the DCT is going to work but I’ve got to try.
“I had chemo after the cancer came back a second time. However, I broke some ribs so had a gap in the chemo and then a few other stops after – so it didn’t fully get rid of the cancer.
“I’ve been on niraparib for two months but my cancer markers have gone up so we know it’s not working.
“I was getting ready to go to Spain for the DCT but because of Covid they have a different set up now where the practitioner can treat me here.
“But I’ve got to get my blood levels up with transfusions first as I currently don’t have enough in my body. Then they can do the DCT, send samples off and keep in touch on Zoom.”
Alongside the DCT, Johannah hopes to have GC-MAS cell therapy to also fight the cancer.
She added: “It’s not curative but could extend my life by years and by then some new treatment might be available.
“I was fobbed off for years and told it was many things, including IBS, and wasn’t anything serious.
“But you have to know your own body and trust it if something doesn’t seem right.”
You can support Johannah online: www.gofundme.com/f/can-you-help-give-me-a-chance-at-life
TWO events are being held in Saddleworth in September to raise funds towards Johannah’s cancer treatment.
On Saturday, September 11 is ‘Showtime for JoJo’ at Boarshurst Band Club in Greenfield from 7.30pm.
You will be treated to performances from local professional and amateur Musical Theatre singers. If you like West End shows, you’re going to love this.
Tickets £8 plus booking fee: www.ticketsource.co.uk/booking/t-lldajy
Then on Sunday, September 19 is the Johannah Aynsley benefit concert at the Civic Hall in Uppermill from 1pm-8pm.
For one night only, Morgan’s Every Which Way will perform, along with other amazing local acts including Victor Michael, Hayley Maria, Andy Lee, Jonny Sax and Jake Fletcher.
Tickets £10 from booking hotline: 07710 198 742.