by Simon Whittle · “Something just happened, and like a magic wand, it changes everything.” After raising a whopping £320,000 in a matter of weeks for urgent cancer treatment in the USA, former Voice deputy-editor Roz Paterson received the amazing news that NHS Scotland had agreed to fund her specialist therapy in England.
Roz was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer last summer, and is now due to receive Car-T Cell therapy in London soon.
She has also begun the process refunding donations. Roz told the the Voice: “Getting NHS funding has been a huge relief, and makes me realise—again—how lucky we are to have an NHS, staffed by such excellent professionals, who fight for your life as hard as you would yourself; money no object. In the NHS, life comes first and foremost.
“Frontline staff pushed for this result, tirelessly, and everyone who supported me, in sharing posts on Facebook, donating, going on the radio, making tablet, raffling and rocking, were power to their elbow.
“We did it! People power can move mountains—even ones that cost £500,000!”
Roz wrote on her blogspot on 6 February, “In the next few days, I need to wean myself off the steroids, and I stopped taking my chemo pills yesterday, so that my system will be clear of them for the T-cell harvesting—in a process pretty similar to giving blood—in two weeks’ time. Then I’ll come home, and have four weeks of, I hope, ordinary life, before returning to London for two months.”
Meanwhile, Roz’s T-cells will be modified into CAR-T cells in California, where they will be programmed to recognise cancer cells and destroy them.
“When the cells come back, so do I, and I get three days of Conditioning Chemotherapy, to partially wipe out my immune system, so that the CAR-T cells can get in there, and get to work. It’s fantastic science.”
We wish Roz the very best, and hope to see her fighting-fit very soon.
• Read Roz’s blog