Cancer drug can buy time


AMANDA Reid is trying to buy herself more time.

But she can't afford the $12,800 cost of specialised chemotherapy treatment alone.

So she's asking for help.

The Prospect 32-year-old had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago in the hope it would prevent the cancer coming back.

Last month, after three years in remission, Ms Reid found out it had returned anyway.

She said the news came just as she was regaining control of her life.

"This last 12 months I've felt fantastic, and it's been amazing," Ms Reid said.

"It really felt like everything was back and I finally got everything out of my head, and then: bang."

Ms Reid said she had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of second-stage breast cancer, which was likely to be recurring.

"It's not curable, but it's controllable. But the reality of it is we don't know how long it's controllable for, and it's only controllable for as long as my body responds to treatment," Ms Reid said.

But she said it could be treated more effectively by a new, more targeted chemotherapy treatment not yet subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

"It's just come off trial with beneficial results and we're looking at an extra two years before reoccurrence ... and that's fantastic at my age to have two years before we have to go through this again," Ms Reid said.

Unable to afford the treatment unless her parents could sell their caravan in time, Ms Reid was encouraged by friends to appeal for public donations through a crowd-sourcing website.

Within nine days, 112 people have donated $5985 for her treatment, which she hopes to start next week.

"Half of them I wouldn't know," she said.

"It's very overwhelming, and then you will get a young child whose mother passed away and he's like, `Here's $10, it's all I have in my piggy bank, but my mother had cancer and she died.'

"That's huge. And you can't thank people enough for that."

Ms Reid said the generosity of strangers and support of her friends and family had helped her through bleak moments.

"It just gives you more reason to get in there and fight, because the mental fight is harder," Ms Reid said.

"I can't control what it does to my body, I can't control how my body responds, but I can control how I think and that mental fight's a massive issue.

"And there's 112 people out there who just decided to back me."

To donate to Ms Reid's treatment, visit http:/ /www.gofundme.com/Amanda- Reid.

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