A MUM-OF-TWO with breast cancer who has been denied “life-saving drugs” from the NHS, can now begin her treatment after an incredible fundraising response brought in more than £30,000 in just over a week.

“We can’t thank everybody enough and it just goes to show how a community can really help,” said Gemma Williams, 35, from Cwmbran.

“We did not even imagine that we would have this support, we are so humbled and incredibly grateful.”

Mrs Williams, from Cwmbran, was recommended the drug Kadcyla by her oncologist, to prevent a relapse after enduring “horrific” chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy.

But because the drug is currently only used to treat one type of breast cancer, she had to appeal to a special NHS body to be able to get it.

The individual patient funding request panel, responsible for issuing non-authorised drugs, twice rejected her application.

NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, is currently researching whether the drug could be used to prevent relapses, following successful trials in America.

The refusal meant Mrs Williams has to raise the money herself, with a full treatment estimated to cost £45,000.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, just four months after her husband Jamie underwent emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery.


Because Mrs Williams still has the tumour, doctors are concerned that cancerous cells could spread.

“Time is ticking and I am really worried,” she said,

“With Kadcyla, if any kind of cancerous cell grew, it would go in and kill it.”

Now, after receiving “incredible support” from friends, family, the local community and businesses she has passed the halfway mark and has set a date for the treatment she hopes will finally give her the all clear.

On November 14, she will start the first stage of a 15-cycle treatment.

“The realisation that I have to go and start treatment, which includes chemotherapy, is starting to sink in,” she said.

“I am not quite sure how I am going to react to that.

“I am just preparing myself and trying to stay healthy now.”

Her GoFundMe page has raised £27,000, but she also has a number of offline pledges.

Her employer, Smart Solutions Recruitment, has already raised £3,500 from a sponsored walk to Snowdon and is now targeting the £4,000 mark.

She still needs a little over £15,000 for the full treatment, but Mrs Williams is beginning treatment as she needs “to start the drug as soon as possible, otherwise it won’t be as effective”.

Gemma’s Pink Army has “absolutely loads in the pipeline” to raise the remaining money, she added.

A charity ball will be held at the Celtic Manor in the New Year, an 11-hour rugby game is also being organised, and various raffles are taking place.

Mrs Williams - mother to daughter Megan, 16, and son Sonny, 11 - said she will donate any excess money to other women who are in the same position as her.