Sun, 12 Aug 2018
PEOPLE have, quite literally, pulled together to help raise money for a Tadley mother-of-three with inoperable pancreatic and liver cancer.
Gemma Kent, 40, needs to raise £60,000 for Ketogenic Diet treatment in Istanbul, Turkey – something which she has been told could prolong her life by up to 10 years if effective.
Research has shown a link between the keto diet and slowed growth of some types of tumours in mice.
A few studies in humans with certain types of brain tumours have also shown promise, but experts say there is no guarantee it works.
Two more recent events, which included a truck pull, have helped bring the total amount raised to a staggering £53,781.
The fundraising started with a family fun day at Barlows Park, Tadley, on Saturday, July 28, which included bouncy castles and face-painting for the children, hook-a-duck and whack-a-rat, a cash bar and evening disco.
On Saturday, more than 30 people pulled a truck from Barlows Park, stopping at the Calleva Arms pub, the Pelican Inn and then returning to the park.
Mrs Kent’s mother, June Beere, said: “The fundraiser was amazing and so well supported by the people of Tadley and surrounding districts.
“We raised in excess of £4,000.”
Mrs Kent was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after a number of visits to her GP.
Ms Beere, said: “They told us all that she had just a few months without chemo, or extended life expectancy of nine to 12 if her body accepted the treatment.”
Mrs Kent travelled to Turkey on Sunday to start the treatment.
Ms Beere said: “Essentially, they use the diet to stop feeding the cancer cells with carbs or sugars, use oxygen and heat, which cancer cells hate and when the cancer cells believe they are being starved of sugar they inject a small amount of insulin to bring them back out then blast them with chemo.”
Mrs Kent’s Facebook page states: “Gem has now completed her first round of ‘Metabolically Supported Chemotherapy’.
“Some of the treatment is pretty intimidating – aka being cooked at 40 odd degrees then zipped into O2 tank – but Gem isn’t feeling half as ill as she was following the chemo she received at home.”
Ms Beere added: “We are looking for a business sponsor who might help us with the ongoing maintenance treatments.”
Mrs Kent previously said: “I’m really happy that they are doing this for me. I feel spoilt and that I shouldn’t be getting this help.
“I’m gonna keep doing this, gonna keep fighting it. For me and everybody else.”
Mrs Kent has three children, Jack, 20, Alfie, 13, and Hope, three.