For immediate release
HUGE CAMPAIGN FOR YOUNG WEST SUSSEX MOTHER WITH RARE CANCER
“It’s obscene beyond expression how people can have the arrogance to put a price on young lives” Irvine Welsh – Author
Jemma Peacock is just 31. She lives in Storrington and has two lovely daughters. She was expecting her second child when she was diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST), a rare cancer found in the digestive system. She needed ten blood transfusions and nearly died.
There is currently no cure for inoperable GIST, but targeted drugs enable a patient to live for considerably longer, providing both time with their families and for research into other solutions to continue.
One of these vital, “last resort” life-extending drugs is Regorafenib but recently Jemma learnt that this will no longer be available to her following its removal from the Cancer Drugs Fund with no right of appeal. Philip Hunt, Labour’s Deputy Leader in the Lords called this decision “extraordinary and perverse”.
To Jemma it was devastating news, “I’m young, I’m 31 and I should have the chance to have it” she told BBC’s South Today when they interviewed her about her situation earlier this month.
Jemma has turned to her family, friends and social media for help and support, the response has been nothing short of phenomenal.
An online petition to overturn this decision gained 1400 signatures in 48 hours and already has almost 5000 in total. Hundreds more are adding their names to the campaign each day. Jemma’s desperately hoping for 100,000 signatures which will make the matter eligible for debate in the House of Commons.
Local web design company BN:Coded heard of Jemma’s situation and built her a free website in under 48 hours to act as an information hub to aid the campaign. A statement by them on the site sums up the spirit of the online campaign beautifully “We hope Jemma never feels alone in her battle with cancer, the world wide web is a big place but with social media it is an even bigger community, let’s all support her”
Best selling author Irvine Welsh heard about Jemma on Twitter and contacted her to say “It’s obscene beyond expression how people can have the arrogance to put a price on young lives”. He urged his 170,000 followers to join him in signing the petition.
Since then England footballer Carlton Palmer, cricket commentator David “Bumble” Lloyd and singer Eddi Reader have all added their weight to the campaign sending messages of support and asking their followers to sign the petition.
Jemma’s been overwhelmed by the level of support and amazed that so many people she has never met have helped her with the campaign.
“I’m so grateful for the incredible support I am getting from friends, family and kind-hearted strangers. Getting 100,000 signatures on the online petition means, quite literally, everything to me at the moment. I am asking everyone to take 30 seconds to visit my website to sign it. This will help me and many others in a similar position to me live longer, it really is as simple as that. It’s hard to deal with having someone at the NHS put a value on your life but to me the chance to see my little girls grow up is priceless”