A YOUNG grandmother with an incurable brain tumour has given an emotional than you to the community after an astonishing fundraising drive.
Jan Hilyer, from Cirencester, hopes to prolong her life so she can see her grandson start school in September after £10,000 was raised for specialist treatment in just 24 hours.
Having been told by the NHS that after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, nothing more can be done, Jan is now pinning her hopes on private treatment.
Jan was only diagnosed in November after experiencing a number of seizures, the first of which occurred at the Cotswold Water Park in September.
“My eye went funny. I thought I was having a stroke,” said Jan, 55, who worked at Robert’s Haircare For Men in Cirencester for 30 years.
“I was really lucky I wasn’t driving.”
What followed were numerous scans and trips to the Great Western Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal before a procedure at Southmead led to a diagnosis of glioblastoma – a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour.
Jan bravely underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Cheltenham but unfortunately it did not stop the spread and sadly Jan can now no longer use her left arm.
“I’ve spent my whole life cutting hair and speaking to people,” she said.
“My life has been flipped upside down. I’ve worked with my hands all my life.
“I really miss not going to work and seeing my clients. It’s horrible.”
Jan now hopes to have Avastin infusions, which are designed to prevent cancer cells from creating new blood vessels, at the Christie in Manchester, one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe.
The private treatment was previously unaffordable at a cost of £3,000 per injection every two weeks but a fundraising page set up by her friend Leigh Holmes has already raised more than £13,000.
“I’m amazed how many people have donated,” said Jan, who posted an emotional video on social media thanking people for their generosity.
“It’s been absolutely incredible. Even people who don’t know me have donated.”
The chance of further treatment raises the prospect that Jan could realise her ambition of buying her grandson Elijah his first school uniform.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him go to school,” she said.
“It will buy me some time.”
Any money not used for treatment will be donated to The Brain Tumour Charity.
Donate at bit.ly/3s9m5Ax