An Ed Sheeran fan who had an aggressive form of ovarian cancer shared how the singer donated his guitar in order to help fund her treatment with a last-chance drug that was not available on the NHS.
Actress Suzie Aries, 28, from Hornchurch in Essex, had resorted to crowdfunding to help pay for the special treatment for her rare type of ovarian cancer. After four cycles, she says she’s been cancer-free for the longest period so far.
On her GoFundMe page, she says she’s managed to raise £150,000 of the £250,000 needed for two years’ worth of immunotherapy. Aside from family, friends, and strangers, she can also thank her favorite musician Ed Sheeran whose donated guitar raised £1,500.
“I was absolutely flabbergasted and honored that my favorite artist, Ed Sheeran, would donate so generously to my cause and I would very much like to meet him one day to thank him in person,” explained Suzie.
Suzie found out she had ovarian cancer in January 2017, just a month before she met her “amazing” boyfriend, Karl.
She went through three rounds of surgery, six cycles of chemotherapy, and also a drug trial that eventually stopped working. This left her with only one option, an immunotherapy drug.
Since her form of ovarian cancer was so rare, the proposed drug was not listed as a standard treatment and therefore, was not available on the NHS.
Suzie is undergoing treatment at The Royal Marsden and she says that the funds she has managed to raise will last her until November and gives her the best chance at keeping her cancer at bay.
In the meantime, she had also been raising awareness of the disease for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in March and is floored by the response to the crowdfunding effort.
“We’ve had dinner evenings, hockey tournaments, head shaving, auctions, concerts and gigs, companies chipping in here there and everywhere and even just people generously donating a percentage of their paycheque each month,” she said.
“Without this money, my options would be very limited with regards to treatment and I would likely have to sit back and wait, which is a very scary prospect and something we don’t want to risk with this rare and aggressive cancer.
“The words ‘thank you’ really don’t cover it and I just hope we can keep on going till we hit the £250,000 mark.
“The longer I can have the treatment, the more my immune system will learn to fight this cancer on its own.”
Still, Suzie is careful not to get her hopes too high up. When she underwent radiotherapy, she became infertile though afterward, there was no evidence of the disease.
“What you have to understand about this cancer is that it has the tendency to spread and return and it can even still be there if a scan can’t pick it up,” she explained.
“Treatments I have tried so far – chemo, surgery, and a drug trial – have all ended the same – good results to start, with a reduction and even ‘clear’ scans, but then it comes back around three months later.
“I am now at the three-month mark where cancer would usually rear its ugly head, but it has not this time so this is really good news and super promising.”