When Kath Osmond was diagnosed with stage 3C skin cancer five years ago, she immediately underwent a number of aggressive treatments and surgeries to try and stop the disease in its tracks or even better, cure it altogether. Unfortunately, and as is sadly so often the case, the treatments were unsuccessful and just a few weeks ago, Kath was told the cancer had spread to her bones, lungs, and lymphatic system. Kath has been given just a few short months to live unless she can find money to pay for a special form of treatment that cannot be funded by the NHS.
TILs (Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes) involves removing a tumor from the body and taking the good lymphocytes from it. More of these lymphocytes are then grown in a lab and, after chemotherapy, the lymphocytes are then given to the patient along with a special drug to promote their growth. They then start to attack the cancer. The response rate to this treatment is at 50%, with 20% of patients being completely cured. Of course, such a treatment costs, and in this case, Kath’s treatment would be £70,000- an unthinkable amount of money for any family to afford, but it is her only hope.
This is where Kath’s colleagues., the Southwest Ambulance Paramedics, come in. This past Thursday (May 26th), over 40 paramedics and colleagues, including rapid response crews and air ambulance teams, took part in a Running Man Challenge in front of the Clifton Suspension Bridge to help raise money for the treatment. Not familiar with the Running Man Challenge? Think crazy dancing…and a whole lot of fun. Take a look at this video from BBC Points West, below.
The challenge is already doing its job; thanks to the attention of local media, the campaign has already passed £20,000, but obviously there is still a long way to go. Cancer sucks. It’s one of the worst diseases out there and honestly, I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t been affected by cancer in some way, be it losing a friend or family member, or suffering from it themselves. If you are able to hep Kath’s campaign in any way, shape, or form, be it a monetary donation, an item to be auctioned to raise funds, a donation from your company, sharing this post, or just simply raising the profile of this very worthwhile cause then please, do so.
You can donate to the campaign via the justgiving page here, and follow the South West Ambulance service’s fundraising efforts, and updates on the campaign on their Facebook page.