Brother's mission for battling Joanne - fighting cancer again
A loving brother will walk up to 35 miles a day so he can help pay for his terminally ill sister's treatment.
Joanne Myatt is battling cancer in her bones and liver – a decade after beating breast cancer – but hopes to have costly radiation therapy not widely available on the NHS so she can live longer.
Sibling Andrew Bailey, from Bispham, said he wants to help by bringing in thousands of pounds by walking between 210 and 250 miles in just seven days later this month.
The 39-year-old youth worker said: “My brother-in-law has raised over £25,000. If I can get £2,000 or £3,000 on the board I will be ecstatic. I just want to keep adding to the total.” Jo was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30, and her treatment included surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and numerous check ups.
Her husband Martin said: “We worked hard and created a beautiful life together. Jo gave back every day through her job as a social worker committed to working alongside and supporting children.
“We believed Jo was safe, and the cancer was gone. We celebrated the 10-year cancer-free goal with Jo’s 40th birthday and our amazing wedding in Mexico.
“Barely nine months later, our world came crashing down in one phone call.
“Who knew you can go cancer-free to stage four incurable breast cancer in bones and liver without any warning?”
Jo, now 41 and living in Euxton, has once more undergone treatment, but hopes to have Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) on her liver.
According to cancer charity Macmillan, SIRT uses ‘tiny radioactive beads to treat liver tumours that can’t be removed by surgery’, while Martin said each round of treatment costs around £35,000.
Andrew, who works at URPotential in Central Drive and lives in Rivington Avenue, said his sister had to seek counselling and nutritional advice on her own, and said more could be done to raise the awareness of secondary cancers.
“She feels that by raising awareness she can help other people who have been diagnosed,” he added.
Jo, who was diagnosed a second time after going to her GP after being sick following two 10k charity runs, said: “I don’t want anybody to feel how I felt initially, which was so isolated.
“People need a lot more support emotionally. It’s just very hidden. I didn’t realise how many people are living with secondary breast cancer day-to-day.”
After training on the treadmill and by walking up and down the Prom, Andrew will use the Garstang area as a base for his walking feat, which will take place between July 22 and 28 and see him take on all 43 miles of the Lancashire canal.
His dad Norman, 69, will join him on part of the journey.
Jo added: “I’m really proud of them all. Everybody has been amazing and I can’t believe how much support I have had from people I know and I don’t know or have not seen for years.”
Go to gofundme.com/jomyatt.