Woman Who Raised £400k To Save Husband's Life 'Overwhelmed And Grateful' For Support

'Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.'

A woman who raised more than £400,000 to send her husband for life-saving treatment in the US has issued a heartfelt thank you to all those who donated.

Kate Brandon, 33, had less than a week to raise the large sum of money to send her husband Mike, who is battling a rare type of leukaemia, for CAR T-Cell therapy in America.

Overall, 21,000 donations were made in the space of eight days.

After exceeding her target, Kate issued an update on the couple's status and thanked the public for their incredible support.

Kate And Mike Brandon

Kate said: "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to reach our fundraising goal. Mike and I have been overwhelmed by the love and support we have received. With your help we now have hope."

She added that they flew to the US on Tuesday afternoon and "so far all is going well".

"We have had some preliminary tests done and have met with Mike's medical team," she said.

"All being well we are hoping to go for aphaeresis (cell collection) on Thursday."

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 managed to secure a place on a medical trial for CAR T-Cell Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Centre in the US.

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.

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.”

The couple are still fundraising to help pay for additional care and medication during Mike's treatment.

Kate added that any extra money raised will be donated to the Bristol Royal Infirmary Haematology Oncology Unit, which has supported the couple throughout their two year struggle.

Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO, said: "On behalf of the GoFundMe community, we are so happy to hear that Mike and Kate were able to arrive safely in the US, and we are sending our best wishes to them both as Mike begins his treatment."