A young woman who lost an eye to cancer has launched a desperate bid to raise £240,000 for specialist treatment after it suddenly spread to her liver.
Devastated Ella Wolff, 25, had her eye removed to stop the spread of the cancer, but was told it spread to her liver and she has just six months to live if it is untreated.
She is now facing a race against time to raise cash for specialist treatment that is no longer available as a clinical trial on the NHS.
Ella was given the shock of her life when she went for a routine eye test because her vision had gone blurry – only to discover she had a tumour.
Doctors diagnosed Ella with Ocular Cancer, which develops from pigment-producing cells in the eye, after multiple tests in October 2018.
The following month she underwent surgery to remove her eye in a bid to stop the cancer from spreading.
Two weeks later, she was told that the tumour was contained in the eye socket after following PET and CT scans at Moorfields Eye Hospital, in London.
She had a prosthetic eye placed and said she went about life “as normal” but after a routine scan in September 2019, doctors spotted something in her liver.
She was dealt a cruel blow as doctors told her the cancer was back in her liver and was “incurable”, and if left untreated she would only have six months left to live.
She is now desperately trying to raise funds for the specialist Delcath treatment, which delivers a select high-dose chemotherapy agent directly to the liver.
She will need to undergo treatment every six weeks and has launched an appeal to raise £240,000 to save her life.
Ella, from Ashbocking, Suffolk, said: “In order to get into Delcath, I need to have less than 50% disease in my liver.
“I have 50% already so we need to get on with the treatment.
“The issue with this being it is now no longer a clinical trial and therefore is not funded by the NHS.
“This treatment will cost me £40,000 a session and I could need up to 6 sessions if not more
“When I was told I needed to raise £240,000 I felt it was impossible – I was more frightened about that than any surgery or any treatment.
“Never in a million years did I expect this reaction but they’ve made the impossible seem possible.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to fight and to live – I will never give up.
“I don’t want to die.”
After doctors confirmed the cancer had spread to her liver, Ella underwent two unsuccessful immunotherapy treatments this year in a bid to stop its growth.
She was first approved for a immunotherapy trial with the IMCgp100 drug between January and April, and then she was put on an NHS approved drug Ipilimumab in mid-August.
Sadly her cancer continued to grow and she was told it was incurable, but that she could potentially live until old age.
She said: “I was quite naïve but I really thought I’d be alright. I thought they’d remove the eye and I would be fine.
“I never thought it would get to where it has.
“I wasn’t scared or anything – I’m made of tough stuff and don’t scare easily.
“But I didn’t realise it was incurable – but if they can stop the growth I can live like this for the rest of my life.
“We just need to find something that will stop the growth.
“The longer we can keep it at bay, the more chance I have for a cure.”
She has raised £60,000 in just four days and said has been overwhelmed with the support she received.
The IT recruitment consultant added: “I can’t believe the amount of support and love I’ve received from people all over.
“It’s been so overwhelming because the past two years have been such a whirlwind.
“No words will ever be enough to thank people’s generosity.”
Thanks to the donations Ella received she was able to secure the first round of treatments and will be traveling to Southampton on October 26.
Visit www.gofundme.com/f/evtkm-ella039s-fight to donate.