1. ITV Report

'I want to live for him as long as I can': Mother's cancer treatment battle

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes.

Amelia with her son Dylan when he was a baby Credit: Family Photo

A mother from Ramsey in Cambridgeshire is trying to raise £75,000 for cancer treatment, so she can spend more time with her young son.

NHS Doctors have told 41-year old Amelia Martin that the position of her tumour means it's inoperable and can't be treated with radio or chemotherapy.

The family want to raise the money to send Amelia to a centre in the Czech Republic where proton beam therapy is offered to target the cancer.

"It's enormous, It's at the base of the skull. I've had two operations on it. The NHS said they couldn't do anything for me. I don't want to accept that because I've got a six-year-old boy and I want to live for him as long as I can."

– Amelia Martin
Amelia with her six year old son Dylan Credit: Family photo
  • Traditional radiotherapy uses x-rays to target a tumour, but it also damages the surrounding tissue.
  • In proton beam therapy much smaller particles are fired at the tumour and stop when they hit it, releasing energy at the tumour, causing less harm to surrounding tissue.
Amelia's tumour is affecting the muscles in her face, her sight and hearing. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Two NHS facilities which will offer proton beam therapy are being built in the UK, but the first in Manchester isn't due to open until later this year.

NHS Doctors have told Amelia there's nothing more they can do and decided not to fund her treatment abroad, which is why friends and family have started fundraising to send her to the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague.

Amelia with her son Dylan Credit: Family photo

Amelia wants the treatment to prolong the tie she has with her family, but also hopes doctors could learn more about the effectiveness of proton therapy from treating her rare condition.

Proton beam therapy is also available in America. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Watch a short video clip with Justine Alford from Cancer Research UK as she explains more about proton beam therapy.

"Proton beam therapy is a relatively new type of cancer treatment, what many people might not know is it is a type of radiotherapy. In conventional radiotherapy the type of radiation used is typically x-rays, so tiny packages of really high energy light, whereas in proton beam therapy the radiation that's used is the tiny particles which are found in the hearts of atoms which are called protons."

– Justine Alford, Cancer Research UK

A friend of Amelia's has set up a JustGiving page to raise funds to pay for her treatment.

See how Amelia's fundraising is going.