A woman who was diagnosed with cancer after an ‘unbearable itch’ was dismissed for two years is now raising $220k to save her life.
Jade Whiston, 36, was plagued by itchy skin for two years – something that left her body covered in sores – before doctors realised she was battling stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Jade first started suffering from symptoms in 2015 when she became extremely itchy and was constantly exhausted.
“I had no idea my itchy skin was a symptom of cancer,” Jade, who tied the knot with her now-husband, Vince, 38, last November said.
“I was scratching so much that it was affecting my day to day life, I was covered in sores and was digging holes in myself.
“It was unbearable but doctors kept brushing me off and said I must have a skin infection.
It wasn’t until two years later when the skin on her chest became inflamed that she was given an ultrasound which detected her lymph nodes were swollen.
“Following a biopsy I was finally diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, at first I felt relieved after going back and forth for so many years with crippling symptoms,” she said.
“I then needed several round of chemotherapy to try and stop the cancer from spreading but every time it seemed I was making progress, scans showed the cancer had multiplied.
“I have only been in remission once in the past two years but I won’t give up.”
Jade has since exhausted all treatment available on the NHS in a bid to save her life.
Now Jade, from Pitsea, Essex, is being forced to raise $220,000 for another drug that’s not currently available for her type of cancer.
“My only option on the NHS is to accept that my illness is terminal and to have palliative care.
“I have so far raised enough for my first cycle of the drug called Panobinostat which is 18 tablets.
“I will have a PET scan after my 2nd cycle mid-March to determine whether this new drug is working.
“I was diagnosed at stage four and it had already spread to my lungs and liver back in 2017.”
Jade’s fundraising page has raised over $85,000 so far but hopes her total will be met in the next few weeks.
“I want to have finished all six cycles of the new drug by mid-March,” she said.
“If it doesn’t work I’ll have no choice but to start palliative cancer treatment.”
Jade is sharing her story not only to raise funds for her page but to highlight the importance of knowing your own body.
“I dismissed my awful itchiness as the doctors didn’t think it was anything serious,” she said.
“I don’t know whether things would have been different if my cancer was diagnosed earlier but I won’t give up, I want to live.”
While the most common symptom of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is swollen lymph nodes on the neck, underarm or groin, a persistent rash or itching is also among the symptoms.
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