Annalies Shipley, 38, of Chapeltown, said that since her mother Alllie’s cancer diagnosis last year the family has suffered devastating ‘blow, after blow, after blow’.
Allie’s pancreatic cancer was discovered when she went in for blood tests after developing jaundice and severe back pains.
However prior to the jaundice she had been told the pains were most likely due to indigestion, and at one point the cause of the jaundice was believed to be gallstones.
When the pancreatic cancer was discovered doctors found that it had wrapped itself round an artery and had metastasized, spreading around Allie’s body including to her liver.
Annalies said: “My mum is only 54 and has been in excellent health all her life. She has never had any health problems so when she started suffering form back ache in May last year we were not too worried.
"Then she started suffering excruciating pain in her midriff and could barely do anything.
"I think doctors found it particularly hard to diagnose because it had to be via Zoom or over the phone due to Covid.
"This went on for two or three weeks and then she got the jaundice and went for the blood tests and had a CT scan. She had tests for about a month and then we were told there was a growth on her pancreas and around the artery.”
Because the cancer had wrapped itself around the artery doctors told Allie that they could not operate. They told her she would have to go through chemotherapy to try and reduce the size of the growth first.
"It was after that that another scan showed the cancer had spread to her liver and around her body,” Annalies added.
“We were absolutely devastated. Mum is a fundamental part of the family and she brings everybody together.
"We had family gatherings every month and people would descend on her house. She is the most unselfish person I know.”
Allie started an aggressive form of chemotherapy, however the strong dosage made her very ill.
“When she had chemotherapy it made her sick as a dog every single day,” Annalies said. “Then we were told it hadn’t worked and the cancer had spread even further.
"It’s been blow, after blow, after blow. We thought it is not worth her going through all that again if it does not make any difference.
Allie has since begun a second round of chemotherapy, with a weaker dose, which has a lower chance of saving her.
The family want to raise money to pay for an alternative treatment called Irreversible Electroporation (IRE), which has been proven to extend the life of pancreatic cancer patients but is not available on the NHS.
"The other treatments might buy her a little bit longer,” Annalies said. “She wants to live to see my daughter Isabelle turn 10, which is in five years.
"Only seven per cent of pancreatic patients live that long, and we want to increase her chances of being in that seven per cent.”
Annalies will be running a marathon in four sections to help raise funds for her mum.