Former town manager of Exmouth launches fundraising appeal for drugs to battle aggressive cancer
PUBLISHED: 15:19 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 01 March 2019
An Exmouth woman whose advanced cancer is attacking her brain has launched an urgent fundraising appeal so she can continue to fight the disease.
Suzy Birkett has been battling for survival since 2009, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ten years on, the cancer has taken its toll on her body – spreading to the linings of her brain and eating away at her bones so much, most of her torso from the waist down is steel-framed.
However, the 50-year-old is refusing to give up on finding a way to contain the illness eating away at her.
Miss Birkett said: “The NHS can’t afford the drugs I need to stay alive.
“After years of intensive research, I found other cheaper, less toxic drugs to target key mutations or vulnerable targets in my cancer.
“These kept the disease under control.”
With no more drugs to take, and a hefty bill to purchase more, Miss Birkett has seen her old symptoms starting to return.
She said: “My tumour markers are going up and my headaches are starting to return.
“I am also getting dizziness.
“This disease, while not as severe as it once was, is smouldering and starting to come back,”
Miss Birkett is now urgently trying to raise £8,000 so she can be comprehensively tested at a Greek laboratory, before purchasing the next course of drugs which can temper her aggressive cancer.
Despite the physical and mental toll of the cancer, Miss Birkett remains optimistic that she can get the disease back under control.
“I am very positive,” she said. “I am trying to pull in all my resources to find a solution to this many-headed beast.
“My mindset is ‘there’s always something we can do’ – we have got to tackle it.
“I keep putting one foot in front of the other and try not to look down.
“I am so excited and optimistic about this many-headed solution to the complex, many headed beast that is terminal cancer.
“I believe that if I live long enough I may be able to help others with this approach.”
Before retiring due to ill health, Miss Birkett was a key part of Exmouth Town Council - as town manager, she was responsible for organising the popular Christmas Cracker, mussel festival and dino trail.
To donate to Miss Birkett’s cause, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/suzysrepurposedmedsbreastcancer