As Claire Grady-Lennon tucks her 4 year old twin boys, Shay and Ciarán, into bed and says goodnight to her 9 year old daughter Caitlín, she wonders how many more days and nights they’ll have together.
Since 2009, 35 year old Claire has been battling melanoma. One day, she was a normal 25 year old, care-free with her whole life ahead of her. The next? Her whole world turned upside down when she found a mole on her right knee. Melanoma. Despite acting quickly and having this removed in 2010, there was still uncertainty around the future and what it would hold.
Undeterred and with some positivity, Claire and Matt, her husband made the decision to start a family. She continued to have body maps for 3 years from that point, but with no reassurance that the cancer was gone completely, or any guarantees that it wouldn’t rear it’s ugly head yet again.
All seemed relatively fine until October 2017 when Claire found a big lump in her groin. Scans showed her cancer had returned, but this time in her lymph nodes in her groin and pelvis, with a larger tumour in her pelvis. her worst nightmare was beginning all over again, but this time, there was more at stake – her children.
She immediately had a lymph node dissection in both her groin and pelvis but doctors found the tumour in her pelvis to be inoperable. This meant that Claire had to endure immunotherapy which caused her to have organ failure that nearly killed her.
In spite of this, she continued to battle on, her scars a reminder of her strength and survival. She received targeted therapy that was working a treat, but has now unfortunately stopped. Doctors have recently given her the prognosis she feared. The cancer had spread.
Claire now has stage 4 metastatic melanoma in the ovaries, pelvis, groin, breast tissue and brain. The NHS have said there is now nothing more they can do for her, with doctors suggesting she has between 3 and 12 months to live.
Claire said, “I am terrified of the future. I can’t leave my kids without a mummy. This really is destroying my family.”
Because the cancer is now on her brain, she is now at a very high risk for strokes and seizures and has had her driving licence revoked. As a result, Sarah can no longer work and her husband Matt has had to leave work to care for her and the kids. They have no income and the whole family is finding it hard to come to terms with Claire’s diagnosis.
Determined to fight until the very end, Claire has found out that she can have gamma-knife therapy. This is not available on the NHS as it is too costly, but Claire has found two hospitals in America and one in Israel that can help and they have amazing success results.
If she is able to have the treatment, Claire could be granted another 5 years with her young family. If not, the cancer could take its toll at any time. This is why we are trying to help Claire. Will you help us?
We are hosting the Purslow Memorial Tournament on May 25th at Tamworth Football Club and need your help to raise £10,000.
All funds raised from the day will go towards supporting both Claire and Sofia with their goals and give them and their families, some cherished memories.