Published: 00:01, 21 January 2017
A mum has relived the heartbreaking moment she had to tell her two young daughters she has incurable bowel cancer.
Samantha Ross, 41, broke the devastating news to Caitlin, 11, and Georgia, eight, at the weekend after discovering that the disease had spread to her liver.
But she has since raised more than £11,000 in just a few days in the hope life-prolonging treatment will give her more precious time with her children.
The money will fund immunotherapy treatment in Germany, which is not available in the UK.
Samantha had managed to keep her illness hidden since being diagnosed in September 2015, only telling her sons, Adam, 22, and Ben, 17, believing she would recover and her daughters would never need to know.
But after being told the news by doctors last week, Samantha, who worked at The Baby Lady in Sturry Road, Canterbury, decided to finally tell them.
At the same time, she launched a fundraising page to raise money for the potentially life-saving treatment on the continent.
“I thought I’d set up a page and just see what happens,” she said.
“People have been wonderful and I’ve beaten my target already. I’m going to keep raising money. I’m aiming for £15,000 now as it means I can get treatment for longer.
“I will do anything I can to make sure I have more time with my children.”
Samantha admits she has never asked doctors how long she has to live.
“It scares me,” she said. “When I’m that poorly I will know myself.
“Everyone is different, although I’ve read that people who have this usually have two to three years. I know I’m on borrowed time. I’m a very positive person, though.
“If I let it get me down, that’s all my children will remember when I’m gone.”
Samantha, of Cordingham Close, Seasalter, says her next round of treatment will cause her to lose her hair, so she would have been unable to keep the illness hidden from her daughters.
“I had 10 cycles of chemo the first time and we told the girls it was an antibiotic,” she said.
“Luckily I didn’t lose my hair, it just thinned.
“I thought if I managed to do well with the chemo I might not have to tell them.
“My eldest daughter was due to sit the Kent Test and then start at senior school and I didn’t want her worrying.”
Samantha says the girls are understandably devastated.
“My eight-year-old brought me her two piggy banks and said I can have some of her money to help,” she said.
“She does understand to a certain degree, whereas my other daughter understands a lot more.
"I will do anything I can to make sure I have more time with my children" - Samantha Ross
“A lot of famous people in this last year have died of cancer and it was very publicised.”
Samantha is hopeful the treatment in Germany will give her more time with her children, husband Michael, and parents and sister, who she says have been a huge support.
“Lots of people go out there for this treatment and it has an amazing success rate,” she said.
“There are several clinics in Germany. We’ve got enough to go to one of them but if I keep raising money I can go to the better clinic.”
Samantha is also paying for specialist blood tests and is contacting UK hospitals to see if there are any clinical trials.
“It has all been such a shock,” she said. “I had no symptoms whatsoever. I discovered I had a small, painful lump on the side of my stomach.
“I was sent for an ultrasound and 20 minutes after getting back home the phone rang.
“I was told I had a cyst or tumour 20cm by 10cm.”
Surgeons removed part of Samantha’s bowel, ovaries, womb, appendix and stomach lining.
Of 25 lymph nodes removed, 22 of them had cancer present.
“I’ve been told it’s incurable but I will do all I can to make sure I have a long as possible with my children,” she said.
To donate visit her GoFundMe page.
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