DESPITE having always lived a healthy, active lifestyle and never smoked, Leanne Barrett has stage 4 lung cancer. Her husband is now desperately trying to raise money to prolong her life by seeking out alternative therapies.
A HEARTBROKEN dad of two is desperately trying to save his wife after she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, saying that his children “aren’t ready to lose their mummy”.
In just two days, Jamie Barrett managed to raise more than £30,000 on his crowdfunding page, for life-prolonging treatment for his wife Leanne.
Leanne has stage four lung cancer – despite never smoking and leading a healthy lifestyle
Leanne, 31, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in October after a tumour “the size of a pea” grew into a five-centimetre mass on her left lung.
“We’ve got to fight this and that’s what we’re going to do,” the Derby Telegraph reports Jamie as saying.
“I’m not ready to lose my wife and my kids aren’t ready to lose their mummy.”
Leanne – who has never smoked and has always been very active – was pregnant with the couple’s second child when she was diagnosed and was given the option of an abortion in order to focus on her own health.
She had to have her baby delivered 11 weeks prematurely and since then, Leanne’s condition has deteriorated
However, she dismissed that option immediately, following the news that she was carrying a healthy baby boy. She’d already lost his unborn twin before the 12-week scan.
After her condition worsened, however, doctors were forced to deliver the baby 11 weeks prematurely after deciding that the growth hormones caused by pregnancy were probably causing her lack of response to cancer treatment.
Their little baby, Beau Hudson Barrett, was born via c-section at The Royal Derby Hospital on 8 November, weighing just 2lb 13oz.
He’s currently in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The pair has been together for ten years.
Jamie said: “He’s doing well, he’s fighting and he’s improved day by day. The team down there have been absolutely brilliant.”
The couple has been trying to keep the cancer away from their eldest daughter, India-Lily.
“We’re trying to keep her away from all this.
“She knows that her mummy’s been poorly but she thinks that it’s just to do with the pregnancy.”
Leanne and Jamie married in 2016 after being together for eight years and had been healthy and active during her first pregnancy.
Jamie said: “Leanne has previously been physically fit and very active. She takes pride in looking after her body and her health.
“She previously enjoyed road running up to 10km, weekly body pump classes, spin classes, and personal training sessions as well as swimming.”
It was only shortly after their wedding that Leanne developed what looked like a “pimple” on her nose, which they got checked once it continued to grow.
The couple have tried to protect their little daughter from Leanne’s devasting diagnosis
At first, doctors thought it was a symptom of an auto-immune disease called Sarcoidosis and sent her for a series of tests.
Further scans found that Leanne had a mass of enlarged lymph nodes in her chest. It was only in July 2017, after complaining of chest pains and trouble breathing, that they found the mass in Leanne’s lung.
After visiting a specialist at the Nuffield Health Centre in Derby, Leanne was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
She had to undergo painful investigative procedures, including chest drains and infections to try to find the cause of the growth without harming the baby.
Since giving birth to her son, Leanne’s cancer has spread to her liver, bones and brain.
Jamie says that he’s been told that Leanne’s is the first case in the region where the cancer is known to have spread so quickly.
He said: “I’d just say to everyone go and get checked out and be persistent, always get a second opinion.
“I know not everyone has the option of private healthcare but I dread to think where we would be now without having had that second opinion.
“You always think it’s never going to happen to you, but no-one should be naive enough to think that.”
Jamie decided to set up his JustGiving page (he’s trying to raise £50k) not only to fund alternative cancer treatment but also to raise awareness of her condition.
He said: “We both had hard-working jobs and we lived a comfortable life, but now we’re not working and we need that extra treatment and to spread awareness of her story.
“Hopefully there is someone else out there who might be able to help us.”
But he didn’t expect the outpour of generosity they’ve so far received.
“We can’t thank people enough,” he said.
“People have been incredible. There’s a lot of people supporting us and everyone’s been so generous.
“Yes, we want to prolong her life but ultimately we want to defy the odds, we’re praying for her every day and we’re remaining positive that she can and will beat this.
“Leanne has been simply overwhelmed by the well wishes, messages of support, flowers and gifts that she’s received.
“What she’d love more than anything else in this world is to see her babies grow up and to be able to say that she’s beating cancer.”