Dying Edinburgh mum who has been diagnosed with life-threatening cancer five times given vital treatment hope

Exhausted from treatment and scarred from surgery Melanie said she felt “out of options” and turned to a specialist clinic for help

Melanie Aghanya and her family hope new treatment will end the suffering
Melanie Aghanya and her family hope new treatment will end the suffering

A dying mother who has been diagnosed with life-threatening cancer five times has been given new hope after raising the cash needed for vital treatment not widely available on the NHS.

Melanie Aghanya, who lives in Duddingston with her three children Daisy, 17, Grace, ten, and nine-year-old Zoba, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2011.

Over the following nine years the 46-year-old has had ten operations as well as gruelling rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Melanie Aghanya and her family hope new treatment will end the suffering that’s left her scarred

The mother of three said her life had “finally found a new normal” until December 2019 when a scan revealed four new areas of cancer on her underarm.

Exhausted from treatment and scarred from surgery Melanie said she felt “out of options” and turned to a specialist clinic for help.

The Care Oncology Clinic in London offers radical treatment for people unresponsive to traditional cancer medications and the single mother thinks this could be her “last hope”.

However, treatment is expensive and earlier this month Melanie set up a Go Fund Me page to raise the £10,000 cash needed to pay for the treatment.

The fundraising page was set up on February 19 and smashed its target in under a week with £10,715 raised in six days.

Melanie was on the beach with her dog Ellie on Tuesday morning when she got the notification confirming the success of the appeal.

She said: “My children and I have not stopped smiling since we started the Go Fund Me page. The number of people who have donated their money to me is unbelievable, honestly, I am still struggling to get my head around it.”

The grateful mum went on to say that the support she has received has helped give her optimism and fight back. She said: “I feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. Usually, you are diagnosed with cancer, you get treatment and then get on with life. But because I have had so many recurrences I’ve never believed I’d be rid of cancer.

“Now for the first time I feel hopeful, I am still slightly apprehensive of going into the unknown of this experimental treatment but I have my hope back and it’s getting me through.”

Having secured funds Melanie is now preparing for treatment in London. This will not replace her traditional care package from the NHS but will include further experimental treatment that will attempt to trap Melanie’s cancer by blocking the pathways through which it spreads. Medics

in London will use available drugs not usually used to treat cancer such as diabetic medication used to block glucose pathways.

Melanie said this is her last chance and she is “desperate” to stay alive for her children.