A YOUNG mum has launched a £100,000 fundraiser after she received a devastating cancer diagnosis – just two years after she had previously been given the all-clear.
Darina Gray was only 26-years-old and had just given birth to her youngest child when she was first told she had breast cancer.
The mum-of-two underwent multiple surgeries and intense chemotherapy, ultimately being told she was clear in December 2019,
Darina from Bedford, Bedfordshire was then tragically told last year that the breast cancer had come back aggressively, spreading all over her body.
Now, the accounts assistant and her family are hoping to raise the necessary funds for Enhertu – an antibody drug not typically available in the UK for Darina’s type of cancer.
Despite her diagnosis, Darina has stayed positive and has even created a charity to help raise money for other families whose lives have been affected by the disease.
Darina has undergone four types of chemotherapy following her re-diagnosis, but her body has rejected them, resulting in allergic reactions, suspected sepsis and a collapsed gallbladder.
The family are now pleading for generous donors to raise £100,000 in an effort to afford the crucial antibody drug.
Family friend Nicole Gray created a GoFundMe on Tuesday to help raise money, writing: “Darina was diagnosed with primary Breast Cancer in April 2019, at the age of 26, just 8 weeks after the birth of her second baby.
“Darina underwent a double mastectomy, intense chemo, and multiple surgeries, all whilst being the best mummy to her two beautiful boys.
“Darina was given the ‘all clear’ in December 2019. In January 2022, after months of symptoms, Darina was given the devastating news that her cancer had returned.
“Unfortunately, this time it had spread to her liver, spine, lymph nodes, and bones, meaning she received a secondary breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 29.
“Secondary breast cancer is unfortunately incurable with limited resources/treatment lines available.
“Since Darina’s diagnosis, she has been on four different types of chemo, none of which have kept her cancer stable.
“To say Darina has had it rough with her treatments within the last year would be an understatement.
“She has had several allergic reactions, multiple trips to A&E with suspected sepsis, and emergency surgery on her collapsed gallbladder in October.
“She has spent the last few months almost bedbound due to the effects of her last chemo which unfortunately has not worked to reduce the tumours within her liver.
“Darina’s oncologist has found a treatment called Enhertu, he is confident that this treatment will reduce Darina’s tumours in her liver and keep her cancer stable.
“The FDA in America has approved Enhertu for Darina’s type of cancer and has seen extremely positive results.
“However, it is yet to be approved within the UK for Darina’s type of cancer, therefore the cost cannot be covered by the NHS or private health care.
“The starting cost of Enhertu is £100,000. We understand this is a large sum of money to achieve but we have to at least try.
“After all, we cannot put a price on buying Darina some more time to spend with her wonderful husband Jonny, and her beautiful boys, Marley and Cobi.
“Those who know Darina will agree with me when I say, she is simply the most incredible human.
“Throughout her primary and secondary diagnoses, she has remained the positive, caring, amazing lady that she is.
“She is constantly lifting us all up with her amazing sense of humour when, really, it should be the other way around.
“Shortly after her secondary diagnosis, Darina set up a charity – Gray to Sunny Day and raised funds through ‘boob pot’ parties, a golf day, a charity ball, & lots of other things in between.
“She has raised over £16,000 which has been spent on families who are living through the hell that is cancer, on day trips, photo shoots, or anything they request to help create lasting memories, and forget about the awful realities of cancer for at least a day.
“It’s now time we all return the favour and help fund this treatment for Darina.”
Speaking to Nicole today she said: “I’ve known Darina for over 15 years.
“We became best friends after she started to date my cousin Jonny, who she has been with for over 15 years and is now married to with two beautiful boys.
“I decided to set up the page because Darina’s oncologist feels this treatment is Darina’s best option. She’s had four different treatments so far, none of which have worked to keep her cancer stable.
“The treatment Enhertu is available on the NHS however it is not available for Darina’s type of cancer.
“The FDA in America has used this treatment for Darina’s cancer type and seen really positive results with 50% of tumours shrinking.
“Darina has had such bad luck with the previous chemos she has been on. Her cancer is growing rapidly and we need it now more than ever to get it under control and stable, hence starting this treatment.
“It’s the most hope we’ve been given for a long time since her diagnosis, so I thought why not start a GoFundMe page and see how it goes. We cannot believe the generosity of people.
“We’re so overwhelmed and thankful.”
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has reached £38,176. To donate you can visit: https://gofund.me/31eef1fa