Fresh hope for Sarah

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A WOMAN who had to undergo open-brain surgery because the NHS refused to fund specialist treatment, is now recovering in hospital after a course of radiotherapy.

Sarah Hargreaves, 38, who was diagnosed with two brain tumours in January, became a victim of the ‘postcode lottery’ earlier this year, when her Primary Care Trust said she couldn’t get gamma knife treatment on the NHS, because of where she lived.

Chesterfield-based charity, Cancer Relief UK generously stepped in to foot the £10,000 bill, but by that stage her tumours had grown too large to treat, and Sarah had no choice but to have open-brain surgery.

She has now ended a ten day course of radiotherapy, which her family hope will prevent the cancer from returning.

“We are hopeful, but we can just never know,” said Sarah’s mum, Dorrinda. “It is just a matter of waiting.”

The treatment has left Sarah feeling extremely unwell, and her hair is falling out for a second time, with doctor’s saying it may never grow back.

“There is a good possibility that her hair wont grow back, but as with everything we live in hope.” said Dorrinda.

“But the radiotherapy has left her so tired. It is getting her down. We are just hoping as soon as she gets over this she can pick herself up and get on with her life.”

Sarah, of St Lawrence Road, North Wingfield, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and opted for a double mastectomy. She also had her ovaries removed, which were found to contain cancerous cells.

Throughout her ordeal, brave Sarah has strived to maintain a normal working life, returning to her job at Mansfield council at every opportunity.

“Her work have been so supportive, letting her work when she is well enough to do so,” said Dorrinda.

She also extended her thanks to Cancer Relief UK, for donating towards Sarah’s ongoing care.

Speaking to the Derbyshire Times earlier in the year, Sarah said she was “stunned” by the charity’s generosity, adding: “It’s incredible, it’s fantastic, that there are people out there who do this.”

Since then, family and friends have been fundraising to repay the charity that gave Sarah a lifeline, and have so far raised £7000.

And this weekend, an art sale is to be held to raise more money for the Save Our Sarah fund.

The event will be at St Mary’s Centre on Church Street, Pilsley from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and will showcase original paintings, paper sculptures and textiles for sale.

Dorrinda said: “We would like to express our thanks for the fantastic people out there who generously donated to SOS. The people around her and others we have met along the way -as I have said - have been very generous both with their time and money.”

l Do you know any brave women like Sarah? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

ellie.hunter@derbyshiretimes.co.uk