By Charlotte Nisbet
A newlywed who was diagnosed with cancer after an “unbearable itch” was dismissed for two years is now raising £120k to save her life.
Jade Whiston, 36, was plagued by itchy skin for two years – something that left her body covered in sores – before doctors realised she was battling stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
After initially being diagnosed in February 2017, Jade has since exhausted all treatment available on the NHS in a bid to save her life.
Now, she’s being forced to raise £120,000 for another cancer drug that’s not currently available for her type.
Jade, who tied the knot with her no husband, Vince, 38, last November, said: “I’m fundraising £120,000 to try and save my own life.
“My only option on the NHS is to accept that my illness is terminal and to have palliative care.
“I have so far raised enough for my first cycle of the drug called Panobinostat which is 18 tablets.
“I will have a PET scan after my 6th cycle if I’m able to raise the money to see if it has shrunk the cancer.
“I was diagnosed at stage four and it had already spread to my lungs and liver back in 2017.
“I had no idea my itchy skin was a symptom of cancer.”
Jade’s first started suffering from symptoms in 2015 when she became extremely itchy and was constantly exhausted.
She added: “I was scratching so much that it was affecting my day to day life, I was covered in sores and was digging holes in myself.
“It was unbearable but doctors kept brushing me off and said I must have a skin infection.
“After being referred to a dermatologist it wasn’t until two years later when the skin on my chest became inflamed that I was given an ultrasound which detected my lympnodes were swollen.
“Following a biopsy I was finally diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, at first I felt relieved after going back and forth for so many years with crippling symptoms.
“I then needed several round of chemotherapy to try and stop the cancer from spreading but every time it seemed I was making progress, scans showed the cancer had multiplied.
“I have only been in remission once in the past two years but I won’t give up.”
After 12 years together, Jade and Vince got married in November 2018.
Jade added: “Vince has supported me at every stage of my cancer journey, we decided to use our savings and get married last year as that’s something we’d always wanted to do.
“We just had close family and friends but it was perfect for us.”
Jade’s fundraising page has raised over £47,000 so far but hopes her total will be met in the next few weeks.
She said: “I want to have finished all six cycles of the new drug by mid-March.
“If it doesn’t work I’ll have no choice but to start palliative cancer treatment.
“I’ve been blown away by the generosity of people so far as we’ve already hit a third of our required total.”
Jade is sharing her story not only to raise funds for her page but to highlight the importance of knowing your own body.
She said: “I dismissed my awful itchiness as the doctors didn’t think it was anything serious.
“It’s not a usual symptom of Hodgkin’s lymphoma but as it had spread to my liver that’s what caused the itchy skin.
“I don’t know whether things would have been different if my cancer was diagnosed earlier but I won’t give up, I want to live.”