Hitchin family’s desperate appeal to fund 22-year-old’s life-changing cancer treatment

Sam Williams, pictured with her dog Gus, was diagnosed with cancer in May.

Sam Williams, pictured with her dog Gus, was diagnosed with cancer in May. - Credit: Archant

A young Hitchin cancer patient faces a race against the clock to raise money to fund life-changing treatment.

Sam Williams, who lives in Benslow Lane, requires revolutionary proton beam therapy treatment in Prague in the next two weeks.

The 22-year-old only received the devastating diagnosis about her health in May, when doctors told her that she had undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma in her sinuses and lymph nodes.

Sam – who was in the last weeks of her science degree at Plymouth University – had to abandon her finals, undergoing two bouts of chemotherapy, the removal of a lymph node, and have her wisdom teeth out.

But further treatment in this country could leave her with brain damage, and loss of sight and hearing, due to the close proximity of her brain, eyes and ears to the affected area.


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Her father Chris Williams said: “Sam’s conventional treatment in the UK will be three cycles of chemotherapy, followed by chemotherapy with radiation therapy, which may affect everything around the area of the tumour, not just the tumour itself.

“Proton beam therapy – unlike conventional X-ray photon radiation therapy – stops at a precise point, conforming to the tumour shape and depth, fighting the site of the tumour. This means there’s no exit dose of radiation, preserving normal tissues and organs.

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“For a previously lively woman it could result in avoiding possible brain damage, saving her eyesight, hearing, and facial features.

“The differences in the two types of treatment are like comparing the after-effects of a ‘smart’ bomb, to a ‘carpet’ bomb – laying waste to everything around the targeted area.

“It’s a disgrace proton treatment isn’t offered on the NHS.

“People like David Cameron and NHS number crunchers don’t care – all they care about is money. That’s why we have to go to Prague to receive treatment. It costs £65,000 overall, lasting eight to 12 weeks.

“It’s a life-changing operation – a life-saving operation – but with the hope of a quality of life 80 per cent less damaged than traditional treatment.

“It’s the same treatment which saw Brett and Nagmeh King take their son Ashya King out of the country sparking an international manhunt.

“Sam’s so positive. I’m so proud of her. She loves animals and wants to work in conservation.

“Why should she accept being annihilated by out-of-date treatment when proton therapy could help?”

Sam added: “I’m amazed at the kindness and generosity of people so far, I’ve been moved to tears.”

You can donate at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/samantha-williams.

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