Student devastated by recurring cancer needs £10k for life-saving treatment

Proton beam therapy is the last option for Izzy. She needs to raise at least £10,000 in the next two weeks to pay for her three month stay


Life can be tough. Exams hard. Then, after three years of hard work and drinking a disgusting amount of alcohol, you walk out of university scraping a 2:1. What a relief.

For Izzy however, life as a student has proved to be a lot more difficult. First battling with a brain tumour aged 9, and then again during her GCSEs, a stroke aged 16 left her with palsy. As a result, she had to give up sport, learn to walk and write again, and study for her A-levels. Although being told repeatedly by school that working for her exams would amount to nothing, she achieved ABC and became excited about the prospect of student life.

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Izzy travelling aged 22

Unfortunately, in April this year Izzy was rushed to hospital for a CT scan that confirmed her cancer had grown back for a third time, forcing her to interrupt her degree at the University of Bedfordshire, where she has been studying for a BA in Primary Education.

Her time there had not been easy. When asked about the most difficult aspect of university life, Izzy told The Tab: “Being different. Working with a note taker and having to get on whilst being ill. I just wanted to have a taste of Uni life, but was mocked and bullied in halls and got so depressed I had to move back home. Now I can’t wait to leave uni. I feel like an outsider.”

Izzy aged 9 nd her sister after her first operation

Izzy aged 9 and her sister after her first operation

As this new tumour is inoperable, the only course of treatment open to her is Proton Beam Therapy, which uses protons rather than high energy X-Rays to kill the cancer cells. Less than 400 people in the UK have ever been offered this therapy as it costs the NHS £100,000 and necessitates travel to the USA.

Her family were informed that she had this chance on 18th August, and that she must receive treatment with less than 10 days to prepare. Now they must quickly arrange visas, accommodation and all other upheavals which will completely turn around their lives. Izzy’s mum told The Tab: “I felt so, so sad that my beautiful daughter has to tread this path again. I think it’s almost worse, having gone through the treatment for two tumours as you know exactly the horrors that await.”

Izzy after her second operation

Izzy after her second operation

Although her family cannot financially support her at this crucial time, Izzy is extremely optimistic about the future: “I am overwhelmed with the amount of love as we are so used to getting on with it ourselves.” Martha, one of Izzy’s sisters, said that aside from these struggles, “Izzy is the chattiest, most loving, happy smiley person you will ever meet.”

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For Izzy, the hardest thing about this newly developed treatment is, “stepping into the unknown, and not knowing the seriousness of the long term consequences.”

To support Izzy please click here.