A young woman has had to give up her dream job to fight a rare form of cancer for which there is no cure.
Having gained two degrees from Oxford and Durham, Jess Lenihan should be enjoying her well-earned success.
But the 26-year-old has had to take a step down from her job in a London art gallery after facing news she a rare and aggressive form of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma – cancer of the bile duct.
It currently affects just one person per 100,000 a year.
Jess, who grew up in Lindley and now lives in Derbyshire, was diagnosed on the week of her birthday, and was told it was too late for surgery.
And although Jess has undergone chemotherapy, the treatment can only control the disease for an average of 11 months.
Sadly the cancer has spread to Jess’s liver, lungs and lymph nodes and has been declared inoperable.
But Jess’s family have not given up.
After researching the disease, Jess and her family have now discovered a treatment which could harness her immune system to fight the cancer.
The treatment has been used on various types of cancer and is verified by the charity Children With Cancer as “the most promising new treatment since the development of chemotherapy.”
However, the treatment is not available on the NHS and could cost in excess of £100,000.
A Go Fund Me page set up by Jess’s friends said: “Although this treatment offers a chance to slow the growth of Jess’s cancer considerably or, in the best circumstances, put it into remission entirely, immunotherapy is not currently available on the NHS for this type of cancer. And it is extremely expensive.
“No one expects to save for a situation like this.”
The page adds: “It is unbelievably hard to see one of your best friends going through this. Someone who has always been there for you and for so many others.
“Someone you imagined growing up and growing old with, standing beside at her wedding, drinking tea with while you watched her children play, having dinner parties with when you’re older – someone who you can’t really imagine life without.
“And it’s so difficult to feel there is little you can do to help, which is why we’ve made this page.”
Should money raised not be used it will be re-donated to AMMF – the UK’s only cholangiocarcinoma charity – and Paintings in Hospitals which provide artwork and run projects in hospitals, hospices and care homes.