Battle to help mum-of-three with terminal cancer diagnosis as pioneering new treatment offers hope

'It has give me a bit of hope and I'm staying positive. I have to for my kids as I need to be here for them'
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A mother diagnosed with terminal cancer after losing her husband to a heart attack is hoping to raise nearly £100,000 for pioneering treatment which may save her life or "at least give her more time with her children".

Stacey Hails, 39, lives with her three children Ashton, 18, Oaklee, 12 and Ralphy, six.

Stacey with her three children, Ashton, Oaklee and Ralphy.Stacey with her three children, Ashton, Oaklee and Ralphy.
Stacey with her three children, Ashton, Oaklee and Ralphy.
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In 2018 Stacey and her children suffered the heartache of losing husband and father, Stephen, who tragically died after suffering a heart attack at the age of 39.

Following Stephen's passing, Stacey decided to move with her three children to the North East to be closer to her mother who lives in County Durham and two aunts who live in Sunderland.

It was last autumn 2023 that Stacey started to feel discomfort in her side and shoulder and booked an appointment at her GP.

Medics initially thought she had gall stones but scans revealed Stacey had cancer in her stomach. Further scans revealed the cancer had started in her bowel and spread to other organs.

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In January, doctors gave her the devastating news that the cancer was terminal.

Stacey said: "The NHS have told me it's incurable. They told me they can't operate because the cancer has spread to other areas. It feels like they have given up on me.

"I've been offered palliative chemotherapy to give me as long as possible. Doctors have said it could give me up to five years, but it all depends on how my body reacts to it."

Devastated by the news, Stacey's family were determined not to give up hope and began to research the possibility of private pioneering treatment in the hope of curing Stacey or at least improving her prognosis.

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Stacey's cousin, Claire Cullington, 38, said: "We have found a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic in London called professor Jamie Murphy.

"He has a record of making people who've been give a terminal diagnosis cancer free, or at least shrinking the cancer to give people more time with their families.

"He is pioneering a new hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) surgery which involves removing the parts of the tumours with the chemo drugs then being administered directly into any remaining cancer cells."

Stacey Hailes with her cousin Claire Cullington.Stacey Hailes with her cousin Claire Cullington.
Stacey Hailes with her cousin Claire Cullington.

Stacey, who lives in in Ludworth between Peterlee and Durham, added: "He has already seen my scans and his PA has explained that Dr Murphy has already used the technique on patients with my cancer who were given a terminal diagnosis and are now cancer free.

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"It has given me a bit of hope. I am staying positive. I have to for my kids. I can't give up as I need to be here for them.

"Even if the treatment can give me longer than I would ordinarily have."

Stacey is currently halfway through six rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and has been advised by Dr Murphy to complete this course before he can then reassess Stacey's scans.

She said: "He wants to ensure the caner is as small as possible or at least stable. We've been told that as long as this is the case then I should be eligible for this treatment."

Stacey is determined to be there for her children.Stacey is determined to be there for her children.
Stacey is determined to be there for her children.
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With the costs of surgery and follow-up treatment estimated to be around £100,000, Stacey's family have set about raising the funds which could literally be the difference between life and death.

Claire has set up a GoFundMe page which has so far raised over £2,000.

Claire said: "Money seems to talk, but this doctor is internationally renowned and Stacey is remaining positive.

"Stacey is determined that she won't be going anywhere as she needs to be here for her children."

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Stacey added: "I'm praying the chemo shrinks the cancer. There's nothing else I can do.

"I would really appreciate any donation, no matter how small. I'm doing anything I can to keep me around for longer with the boys."

Anyone with fundraising ideas can also contact Claire via the fundraising page.

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