A Balbriggan teenager has sent out a heartfelt plea on behalf of his mum who is battling cervical cancer as he begs: “Please save my mam.”
Yana Neverene, who is mum to 15-year-old Vincent, needs the same drug that is being successfully used to treat CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan.
The 42-year-old was diagnosed with cervical cancer last September and despite two rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer has now spread to her lymph nodes.
Vincent said: “My mum is a big part of my life. She taught me to be determined and kind through her multiple charity work, creating dresses for less fortunate people.
“But now she needs your help. Immunotherapy is our last chance. Please help my mam get treatment and become healthy again.”
Yana said she and her boy were “beyond devastated”. She has lost her hair because of chemotherapy, which also resulted in her developing deep vein thrombosis.
She had a stent inserted in her leg, but because of the severe swelling and pain caused by severe complications, she must now stay in hospital.
Yana said: “I really looked forward to returning home to spend time with my son at weekends, but this has stopped because the pain can only be managed in hospital.”
Doctors have now told her that her only option to fight the cancer is Pembrolizumab, which is not yet approved by the HSE and must be paid for privately.
Yana said: “My only hope, my only chance, is expensive immunotherapy.
“One single injection costs €6,000 and the whole treatment will cost €120,000. I cannot afford it. We cannot afford it.
“But this treatment is my only hope of survival. I am a strong, independent woman but these past few months have been so, so difficult for me and my family.
“I am a young woman who wants nothing more than to be healthy and at home with my precious son, my family and my friends. I love my life.”
Yana and Vincent have set up a crowdfunding page and within its first week more than €7,000 has been donated.
She said: “Thank you so much to everyone who has already helped, and who continues to support me. I will continue to fight with every breath in my body. I have to keep fighting for Vincent.”
To find out more or to donate, see here.