Sun, 16 Feb 2020
A TADLEY mother-of-three who was told she had nine months to live in May 2018 has encouraged other cancer patients to never give up.
Gemma Kent, 43, of Burnley Close, was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer 21 months ago, requiring her to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, for chemotherapy and a special ketogenic diet treatment.
The Tadley community rallied around Mrs Kent, raising an amazing £90,000 to pay for her treatment in Turkey, as well as two subsequent rounds of chemotherapy in Basingstoke.
Her cancer count fell from 398 to seven, where it has remained since completing her last round of chemotherapy in April 2019.
A hard mass on her pancreas – which originally measured 9cm – has now shrunk to just 2cm.
Secondary cancer on her liver and lungs meanwhile have cleared.
Mrs Kent – who lives with her husband Phillip and children Jack, 22, Alfie, 15 and Hope, four – urged anyone in her situation to never give up and to always keep a positive mindset.
She said: “I really just want to get it out there to people that although they give you these statistics, don’t give up.
“If I’d given up I probably wouldn’t be here.
“The amount of times my oncologist said to me, ‘When are you going to accept this is terminal, you are dying, this is going to happen,’ and I said ‘no, absolutely not’.
“I think it’s all to do with the power of the mind and positivity.
“Everybody is terminal and born to die – we will all die one day – you can’t just give up.
“You have to keep going.”
Mrs Kent made a special mention of the Tadley community, which incredibly raised £30,000 in two weeks to send her to Turkey for the first three rounds of treatment.
“The community of Tadley absolutely floored me, I’m so grateful,” she said.
“You don’t realise the kind of community you have around you until something like this happens.
“Still to this day, everybody asks me how I am. It’s phenomenal. I’m so lucky.”
Mrs Kent’s mother June Beere – who travelled with Mrs Kent for the treatment in Turkey – also paid tribute to the Tadley community, and said that without the support her daughter wouldn’t be here.
Mrs Beere said: “I just want to thank everyone – she wouldn’t be here without all the support she got.
“The community kept her going.
“They have been fantastic and kept her positive and grounded, and now it’s all turning round for her.
“At the end of the day, everyone in Tadley came together.
“Her friends, the community and local businesses have been phenomenal.”