‘I just feel so helpless’ – Facebook removes desperate Sheffield family’s cancer drug appeal

A Sheffield mum who is trying to raise money to fund her seriously ill brother’s cancer treatment says she doesn’t understand why Facebook have closed down her fundraising page.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 3:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:30 am

Katie Taylor is raising money for her brother Mark Taylor after he was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in November 2018 at the age of just 37.

After going through an intense week of radiotherapy and six rounds of chemotherapy, the married father-of-two’s hopes now lie in a medicine which costs £2,720 a month and is not currently available on the NHS.

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Mark Taylor with his niece Harper.

However, a Facebook page Katie set up to run a raffle to raise money for the drug was shut down by the company last week who say it breaks their rules against gambling.

Katie says the decision has knocked her confidence and left the family ‘in limbo’ about what to do next.

“They didn’t even give me the chance to prove his treatment – it is so frustrating,” said Katie

“They said you’re not allowed to gamble but if you put in the word raffle into the search box there are loads of other people doing it.

Mark Taylor with daughters Alexis (left) and Olivia.

“I just feel so helpless with the whole situation and wanted to do something for my brother and then it blows up in my face.”

Katie says the situation has been made worse by her inability to speak to anyone at Facebook about the ban.

She said: “It’s crazy that they’re a social media company and you can’t actually talk to anyone. I just don’t need the extra stress.

“Mark says don’t worry about it and it will work out but he is in hospital at the moment and isn’t too well.”

Kitchen-designer Mark and his wife Janie have two girls – 10-year-old Olivia and six-year-old Alexis – and were recently married.

The raffle included prizes of a large Pete McKee print, passes for soft-play venue Medieval Mayhem and vouchers for restaurants in Broomhill and Crookes.

To contribute to Mark’s fundraiser, visit www.facebook.com/donate/392626081465725.

A spokesperson for Facebook said: “We know people care deeply about the causes they support, which is why we created Facebook Fundraisers to help people easily come together and support a personal or non-profit cause.

“Unfortunately we do not allow Facebook Fundraisers to offer raffle tickets in exchange for donations, which is why this campaign had to be taken down. If Mr Taylor’s family change the nature of their fundraiser, this will of course be allowed.”