LIFESTYLE

Kind Strangers Help Woman Reach Target Of £400,000 To Help Save Her Husband's Life

They came together and helped Kate in her time of need.

29/04/2016 16:58

In what was probably the darkest week of her life, tens of thousands of strangers came together to help Kate Brandon raise almost half a million pounds to pay for her husband's life-saving treatment. 

Kate, 33, had just under one week to raise £400,000 in order to pay for her husband's specialist treatment in the US.

With the help of kind strangers across the globe, she has finally reached that target - an achievement which is nothing short of incredible.

Kate's husband Mike is battling a rare type of leukaemia and his only chance of survival was CAR T-Cell therapy. Now, thanks to generous donors, he will be heading to the US next week for lifesaving treatment. 

Overall, 20,983 donations have been made in the space of eight days.

Kate and Mike Brandon

Mike was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2014, just one month after he proposed to Kate. 

Due to it being a rare type of leukaemia, Mike required a stem cell transplant to stand any chance of surviving, so he turned to The Anthony Nolan Trust for help.

His wife Kate launched the #Shake4Mike campaign encouraging members of the public to register with Anthony Nolan as stem cell donors. 

Through the campaign, Mike was able to find a stem cell match and on his 30th birthday received a lifesaving transplant.

Following the treatment, Mike underwent more than 20 gruelling bone marrow biopsies, contracted pneumonia and, since November, has needed five further infusions of stem cells and lymphocyte cells from his donor.

But tragedy struck in February this year when Mike’s white blood cell count plummeted and he began to suffer tightness and pains in his chest.

In March, the couple received the devastating news that Mike’s leukaemia had returned - and it was worse than ever. 

Kate and Mike Brandon

“This time things are a hell of a lot more serious than they were the first time round,” Kate explained in an emotional video appealing for donations.

“He has very little hope for a full recovery.

“His only chance is to access this new research trial based in America which is CAR T-Cell therapy and to get him there I need at least £400,000 and I need it as soon as possible.”

She continued: “I’m sure you can all imagine what it’s like if you’re faced with losing the most important person to you, so please help me.

“I know with your help we can get him to where he needs to be.”

Mike had secured a place on a medical trial for CAR T-Cell Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Centre, USA. But it was the extremely expensive medical costs which stood in his way.

The research centre funds the treatment itself, however the additional costs of being treated uninsured and without NHS support must be personally funded.

On 21 April, Kate set up a GoFundMe page in a desperate attempt to raise funds for the treatment. On 29 April, she reached her £400,000 target. 

Rob Solomon, CEO of GoFundMe.com, said: "Kate’s campaign for her husband Mike is an incredible example of the power of the GoFundMe giving community.

"Our team is thinking of Kate and Mike during this incredibly difficult time, and we hope he can get the treatment he needs as soon as possible."

Speaking about her hopes for her husband's treatment, Kate added: “CAR T-cell therapy has really high response rates of complete remission. To me it seems like more of a cure. We can’t go down without a fight.

“You hear of miracles all the time, they are rare but they happen.

“Mike has so much love and strength. We have to exhaust all options."

 

Also on HuffPost

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS