£50,000 raised after Muswell Hill woman's terminal cancer care plea

Ellen Spicer with her nephew

An expensive bowel cancer drug is the only hope Ellen Spicer has to prolong her life as she faces terminal illness - Credit: Ellen Spicer

A Muswell Hill dancer has thanked supporters after crowdfunding more than £50,000 so she can afford a vital drug to help keep terminal cancer at bay.

Ellen Spicer, 34, was first diagnosed with bowel cancer four years ago. Since then, she has undergone 10 operations, including double liver surgery, lung resection and bowel surgery along with five courses of chemotherapy.  

“My mum died of bowel cancer in November 2016 when she was 63,” she told the Ham&High. “Me and my siblings were checked and in February 2017, I was diagnosed with the same thing.

"Unfortunately, I had a four-and-a-half-inch tumour which was lying flat around my bowels. I was fit, healthy and had no symptoms.”  

Two weeks ago, the former professional dancer was informed by her oncologist that she had three to six months to live. Her latest scans had revealed multiple tumours in her lungs, and she was recommended an intense chemotherapy and antibody combination which could hopefully prolong her life. 

Whilst chemotherapy is free on the NHS, the antibody drug Cetuximab is expensive and would need to be funded privately at a cost of £3000 per fortnight.

Although Ellen has been given a place on a top-up programme, where the drug is partially subsidised, she will still need to raise £2000 each month for the rest of her life.  

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“The treatment lasts indefinitely which is why we had to do the crowdfunder," she said.

"My best chance is to stay on this drug forever, or as long as I can handle it. It’s completely incurable unfortunately, so they can just prolong life and maybe during that time, there may be a clinical trial or a new drug released.” 

With the initial hope of raising £48,000, donations on Ellen’s JustGiving page quickly met their target.

“We started the crowdfunder on Friday and we’d reached the target by Saturday which was a crazy response, it was amazing” she said.   

She is due to begin treatment next Tuesday at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield. With a fortnightly course of intense chemotherapy, she is hoping to spend more time with her husband, enjoy another Christmas with her family and be with her nephew on his third birthday.

People can still donate to Ellen's JustGiving page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/elliespicer?utm_term=NZmB7eGBz.