Stevenage family seek help for mum left bedridden after cancer battle

Keith and Sue Stevens.

Keith and Sue Stevens. - Credit: Archant

The family of a 67-year-old grandmother who has been left barely able to speak or move due to a rare form of cancer are appealing for help for a cure.

Tigerlily, 12, Daisy Rose, 6, Trudy Bowden and Sue and Keith Stevens are searching for a special ste

Tigerlily, 12, Daisy Rose, 6, Trudy Bowden and Sue and Keith Stevens are searching for a special stem cell treatment closer to home to treat Sue's condition. - Credit: Archant

Sue Stevens from Stevenage – who is a mother of four and grandmother to seven – was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer nine years ago but, despite battling it, the disease has repeatedly returned and spread to her blood and later affected her brain.

Now she can barely talk, has to use a stair lift and needs round the clock care from husband Keith, himself 72.

Keith said what would usually have been a pleasant family Christmas at the Stevens’ home has been ruined as his wife just isn’t up to entertaining.

Daughter Trudy Bowden said: “We feel stuck. We’re watching her fade away. It’s just awful to watch. We feel like if we don’t try to do something we will be letting her down.


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“She was always the rock of the family, such an amazing person and looked after us all, now she can’t even feed herself.

“I have given up my job to look after mum, and dad does the rest of the caring. It’s a big strain on him. We just feel lost.”

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Keith told the Comet the cancer has been stable for the past seven years but two years ago Sue began to lose the ability to speak and had difficulty controlling her movement.

Specialists had different opinions, but incredibly one doctor told her it was ‘in her mind’.

Finally a specialist at London’s Queen’s Square told the family she has cerebellar ataxia, which is caused by the impact of the cancer or chemotherapy on the part of the brain called the cerebellum.

Trudy has corresponded with doctors in China who say they can treat the condition with stem cell therapy, but Keith says his wife is far too ill to make the trip, so the family need to find out if similar treatment is available anywhere closer to home.

Keith said: “If there’s something we can do to help then we must do it. At the moment she is just deteriorating.

“We’ve got to try to do everything we can to get this treatment done for her.”

Sue worked as a school supervisor in Barnet, as well as raising her four children, and Keith ran his own fencing company. The family moved to Stevenage 15 years ago as they approached retirement.

If you can help suggest treatments in the UK or Europe contact the family by emailing pennykay10@yahoo.co.uk or the Comet’s martin.elvery@thecomet.net.

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