Nailsworth horse trainer Nina Collins leaves for Spain tomorrow for last-chance cancer treatment, but she needs to raise £7000 in ten days to finish the course
LEAP of Faith was the first horse that Nina Collins, 59, from Forest Green, bought after escaping a spiritual cult and leaving behind a successful London career in marketing.
Tomorrow she will take another leap of faith when she flies to Spain for an integrative treatment; her last chance to fight back malignant tumours which are growing 1cm bigger each week.
“I’m nervous because this is it, this is the last chance I have,” said Nina, who started her career working as the head of marketing for Richard’s and the Body Shop before training horses.
“God do I need to go, I’m just hoping and believing that this intensive treatment is going to mean this is not my last Christmas.”
In 2018, a year after Faith was sold to a customer in Wales, Nina became ill. She used nutrition, supplements, radiotherapy and an oncological drug trial but now the NHS can only offer her palliative care.
She was given a choice between chemotherapy to delay the disease or raise £20,000 to pay for a new, whole-body treatment at the Hilu Institute, Spain, offered by cellular biologist Dr Raymond Hilu.
“All the chemotherapy can do is possibly slow it down – so how slow a death do you want? That’s my choice.”
Since moving to Stroud in 1998 looking for spirituality only to be preyed upon by a cult, Nina became a Christian and found strength through her faith to make decisions.
“What’s the point? If I slug my immune system now with chemotherapy I will poison it, yes the cancer might get knocked back a bit, but I will live in that state until it’s all over.”
She has raised £13,000 so far, enough for flights, accommodation and the first week of treatment, but she needs £7,000 in the next 10 days or she can’t afford the second week.
“I’m just so thankful, I’ve been overwhelmed by people’s love and generosity.
“As devastating as it is, I’ve never had so much support in my life, it’s absolutely breath-taking.”
She said she could not have functioned without the people around her, her church and her horses.
Earlier this year she had to stop riding due to the disease, but then in May, Leap of Faith was given back to her and she hasn’t left her side since.
“When the lorry arrived and they put the ramp down it made me cry. Faith was looking in the opposite direction, I just called her name, her ears went straight up and she turned round – I thought my God you’re home and you are never ever going anywhere again.”
“She is the perfect therapy horse, you look into that horse’s eyes and you just melt.”
If her treatment is successful, Nina will combine her faith and love of horses at BrightStar Rehab and Rescue in Quedgeley, set up by two of her friends, where Leap of Faith now lives.
To help Nina Collins reach her fundraising goal, you can make a donation to her gofundme page at tinyurl.com/NinaCollinsFundraiser