A mum-of-two suffering from a rare brain tumour is fundraising for private treatment — so she can live long enough to spend Christmas with her family.
Stacie Rafton, 35, was first diagnosed in January 2015 after a seizure caused her to lose feeling in her left side – but doctors initially thought the tumour was benign.
An MRI scan revealed she had a tumour and it was already the size of a golf ball and underwent an operation to remove it.
But she was told it was incurable – despite undergoing chemotherapy – and was given a maximum of five years left to live.
Now doctors have revealed a further devastatingly blow telling Stacie the tumour has grown and surgery is no longer an option.
Stacie has been told she may not survive passed Christmas unless she gets private treatment for her tumour, known as Aplastic Astrocytoma.
The mum-of-two, from Selby, North Yorks., prays she can spend December 25 with her daughters Chloe, 14, and Sophie, eight, and husband of 17 years Kenny.
Pals set up a fundraising page to pay for the treatment called Avastin therapy, which is not available on the NHS.
The therapy involves administered drugs through an IV drip every two weeks.
Six rounds of Avastin treatment costs £15,000 and so far enough money has been raised for two, which Stacie will start on Monday.
Stacie said: “The tumour was stable for two and a half years but in January this year I was told it was growing.
“I underwent chemotherapy for seven months but it didn’t have any effect at all, so Avastin is my only option.
“It’s not proven to have 100 percent results but it’s my only option. It’s not going to kill my tumour it’s hopefully just going to stablise it again.
“I just hope it will give me longer with my family.
“Everyday I pray that I make it to Christmas. We have a lot of family who I’m extremely grateful for but all I want is a Christmas at home with my family.”
She added: “Kenny has been my rock. I couldn’t have done this without him he’s been with me every step of the way.
“My daughters have been amazing too. I’ve told them about what is eventually going to happen. They are holding up really well.
“For a while we tried to keep the truth from them but we decided it was best to explain to them what was happening to me.
“They have been really upbeat and they are trying to carry on as normal. They go to school, and the school is supporting them, but my main aim is maintain a normal family life.”
Stacie first noticed something was wrong when she was a teenager after suffering from headaches.
After 10 trips to the doctors she was told her symptoms were stress-related and they put it down to exam nerves.
But after having a seizure she decided to consult doctors who booked her in for an MRI scan last January.
The test revealed she had an anaplastic astrocytoma – a form of brain tumour.
The tumour has become progressively worse and Stacie’s symptoms include struggling to walk, memory loss and being unable to bath on her own.
Stacie last year decided to create memory boxes with her husband, Kenny and their two young daughters.
The boxes will include staples from brain surgery, birthday cards, flight tickets and school certificates to help her family remember her.
“I really want to urge anyone who thinks there is something wrong to make sure their doctors thoroughly check,” added Stacie.
“I think my story would have been different if I had pushed the doctors more.”
Childhood friend Stella Snowball, 36, set up the Justgiving page on behalf of Stacie to urge people to help with the funds.
“She said; “We are selling raffle tickets at The Finkle and The Booteek. People slate this little town, but I love the community spirit when someone needs them, they pull together – it’s amazing.
“Stacie and I have grown up together – primary school and all through high school.
“She is such a kind person. I’ve never known her to say a bad word about anybody. I know people say that but for Stacie, it’s so, so true.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stella-snowball