|33 year old woman forced to travel to Germany for life saving cancer treatment that is not available in Australia.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 27th March 2017
GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO SEND TASMANIAN WOMAN TO GERMANY FOR LIFE-SAVING CANCER TREATMENT
MELBOURNE [27/3/17]: 33-year-old Tasmanian woman Renee Chandler is facing the battle of her life; stage 4 aggressive triple negative breast cancer. She has been diagnosed with 3 months left to live using conventional treatment in Australia. Her friends and family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her travel to Germany for critical treatment. Meanwhile, Renee and her devoted supporters wonder if the time will ever come when Australian cancer patients will be able to access life-saving treatments here at home.
As if the cancer diagnosis wasn’t devastating enough, Renee has suffered additionally from another indignity involving misinformation surrounding eligibility for clinical trials. When she was undergoing her most recent round of chemotherapy, her family enquired as to any clinical trials in which she may be able to participate. They were told that she could not be considered until it could be proven that her current treatment wasn’t working. Sadly, it failed and when they applied for Renee to participate, they were then told that because the cancer had spread to her brain, she was not eligible for clinical trials despite residing in the most progressive cancer treatment capital city Melbourne.
“It’s like beating our heads against a wall,” says Gregg Chandler, Renee’s father. “We’re doing everything humanly possible to save this precious life, only to have doors slammed in our faces wherever we turn.”
The GoFundMe campaign has been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the family were reluctant to accept donations from other people, particularly strangers. On the other, a life is at stake. Jackie Wythes, Renee’s close friend established the campaign. “We couldn’t just sit back and watch Nee’s family go deeper and deeper into despair over this. GoFundMe is about asking for help when you have no other option. People like to feel a part of something important and we’ve been utterly overwhelmed by the support that’s been given already. The humanity shown so far has been incredible, but we need even more.”
To date, the fund has raised over $25,000, a humbling prospect for Jackie. “I don’t know what to say,” she says. “There’s nothing I want more in this world than for my dear friend to live a long, healthy life, but we need to get her whatever it takes to get over this major hurdle.”
Renee’s immediate goal is to fly to Germany for the treatment, which happens to be commonplace there. As a non-German citizen, Renee cannot be subsidised and the costs are expected to run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Despite her family and friend’s desperate efforts to finance her treatment, they haven’t been able to raise enough money quickly enough. It is hoped that donations via GoFundMe will continue to grow.
Jackie says Renee has always been a positive person with a sparkling personality and lots of ambition. “She’s a wonderful poet, she wants to get married and have kids and she really just wants what we all want … to get to live to a ripe old age. Is that too much to ask?”
Renee’s Instagram account, renee.e.chandler showcases her poetry to her 12,500 followers. Achingly beautiful, her words illustrate her emotional defiance to her plight.
Continued support for Renee Chandler is requested through her GoFundMe campaign at: https://www.gofundme.com/renees-rescue-raiser.
Ph: 0402 602 083