Advertisement

Okanagan mother battling terminal cancer, hoping for help

Click to play video 'Terminally-ill mother needs donations for immunotherapy' Terminally-ill mother needs donations for immunotherapy

A mother living in the Okanagan with a life-ending illness is counting on donations from strangers to help her live longer. 

“I got diagnosed in 2013 with cancer. I’ve been fighting that for a few years and the last few years it has metastasized,” said Michelle Nelson. 

“It’s spread to other organs.”

Nelson, a former professional boxer, was forced to put her career on pause due to an adenocarcinoma cervical cancer diagnosis.

Read more: Bladder Cancer Canada’s annual walk goes virtual to raise awareness, bolster research

Her only hope to buy extra time to spend with her two children is immunotherapy.

Story continues below advertisement

“I have a long way to go but we did just find out on my last scan, it has stopped the growth,” Nelson told Global News on Saturday.

“That’s the first good news I’ve had in a long time.”

Immunotherapy uses a person’s immune system to fight diseases like cancer, according to cancer.org.

Nelson moved to Lake Country from Saskatchewan to receive treatment in Kelowna.

“I keep thinking, I want to be there for my kids,” said Nelson.

“For it to stop growing, that’s massive. Giving me more time, everyday is precious.”

Read more: B.C. to launch first lung cancer screening program in Canada

The problem is immunotherapy treatments are not covered by provincial health care and they’re not cheap.

Nelson has so far undergone eight immunotherapy treatments at a cost of $45,000. 

Nelson’s sister, Shawna Rachul, has set up a GoFundMe to help cover some of those costs.

Story continues below advertisement

“I just want to say thank you, I know it’s a bad time right now and I know a lot of people are out of work,” said Shawna Rachul.

“Even just the little bit helps and even if you can’t donate, I want to thank the people that are sharing (the GoFundMe online).”

Nelson said she has another year of immunotherapy to get through.

In the meantime, she’s taking it day by day trying to enjoy every moment she has left with her two young children.

Click to play video 'Melanoma Monday: Kelowna physician warns of the serious risk of deadly skin cancer' Melanoma Monday: Kelowna physician warns of the serious risk of deadly skin cancer
Melanoma Monday: Kelowna physician warns of the serious risk of deadly skin cancer