What should have been one of the happiest moments of Kate Geraghty’s life turned into a living hell.
The 34-year-old British teacher was at a hospital in Leicester on December 18, in labour to her daughter, Ivy, when a lump under her left ear was noticed.
Initially, doctors thought the lump was simply a raised gland caused by her gestational diabetes, and she was sent home just a few days later.
Two weeks later though, the lump had doubled in size, and Kate returned to the doctor.
What followed was another two weeks of blood tests, X-rays, MRI scans and CAT scans, before Kate was eventually diagnosed with high grade metastatic mucoepidermoid carcinoma – a rare type of gland cancer.
A JustGiving crowdfunding page page for Kate says that despite undergoing a five-hour surgery to remove the lump and an additional 40 cancerous lymph nodes, doctors were unable to remove the entire tumour because of its large size.
After being referred to another hospital on April 5 for radiotherapy treatment, Kate's nightmare was far from over, with doctors finding another two lumps.
Kate and her husband, Paul Dhillon, 35, were then given the worst news possible. The cancer had spread, it was inoperable, and she was given just months to live.
Determined to give the new mum a few more precious months with her newborn daughter, Kate's family has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money for her to fly to Germany for immunotherapy treatment.
"The whole of Ivy’s short life has been filled with my frequent hospital visits, tests and surgery - not to mention the constant fear and uncertainty while also trying to bond with our new baby," Kate said, as reported by News.com.au.
"I want to try anything possible to give me more time with Paul, Ivy and all of my loved ones."
The crowdfunding campaign was launched by Kate's sister, Bec Storer, 37, with the goal of raising AU$184,625. And despite having only been launched last Friday, they've already raised more than AU$115,650.
Bec said it's been an "absolutely devastating" time for their family since Kate's diagnosis.
"It should have been a really happy year, and instead it’s been full of tests, operations and bad news. When she was told that it was inoperable and terminal, it was just the most utterly devastating news that you could imagine," added Bec.
While not a cure, the family is hoping immunotherapy treatment will give Kate another year or two.
"The goal right now is to give her enough time so that she can see Ivy’s first birthday, and create those happy memories with her before she goes," said Bec.
"I am completely in awe at Kate’s strength and determination, but we are now literally fighting for her life and we need help."
To donate to Kate's cause, click here.
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