The husband of a mother with an incurable illness has described his family’s efforts to help his wife fulfil her dream of visiting a nuclear research centre in Switzerland.
Ronda Rennie, a science technician from Waddon, was diagnosed with breast cancer on November 24 last year.
Since then the cancer spread has rapidly to her lungs, legs and shoulders, and doctors have told how the mother-of-two has between two and five years left to live.
Her husband, Augustine Rennie, 36, known by friends as Ren, has spoken out on the family’s plans to ensure the 39-year-old science enthusiast fulfils her life-long dreams.
Studies on Kadcyla, one of the vital drugs that could help Ronda live longer, has shown it can prolong life by up to 9 months
Mr Rennie has also set up a fundraising page to help raise money to cover the costs of an expensive life-lengthening drug that is not available on the NHS.
He said: “When we got the news that [the cancer had spread] we were completely devastated, and we realised immediately that our dreams and plans for the future would be cut short.
“Our plan now is to do everything we possibly can to make sure we enjoy every moment we have together.”
One month after her diagnoses, in preparation for chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Mrs Rennie was told during tests that her breast cancer was incurable.
After the devastating blow, Mr Rennie has planned to take his wife their two children, Ryen, 9, and Rianna, 11, on a niche trip to nuclear research centre CERN in Switzerland.
“[CERN] and NASA in the USA are two things high up on Ronda’s bucket list, and ticking off at least one of those thing would mean a lot.
“No medication or treatment is guaranteed to give us the result we are so hoping for and if it should come to the situation where her life is taken, the remaining funds will be placed in a trust fund for [the two] children,” Mr Rennie said.
Previously a science teacher at Graveney School in Tooting, Mrs Rennie is now a private tutor working in Addiscombe and other areas of the borough.
The family need to raise at least £90,000 to pay for a full course of the life-lengthening drug Kadcyla - which is not available to new patients on the NHS.
Mr and Mrs Rennie are planning on taking their two children, Ryan, 9, and Rianna, 11, on the bucket-list trip to Switzerland
While spending every bit of spare cash on saving for the treatment, Mr Rennie said “this is nowhere never enough”.
Causing added strain to the family’s financial struggle to pay for the drug, he has reduced his working hours to look after Mrs Rennie.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance last year stating that the drug, which can give women dying from aggressive breast cancer extra months to live, was not set at an affordable price.
It will be removed from the NHS in June, and the decision has prompted a backlash from breast cancer sufferers like Mrs Rennie and campaign groups.
Through the devastating ordeal, Mr Rennie has described how the way in which she is copying is “inspirational.”
He said: “[Ronda’s] attitude towards this terrible ordeal is inspirational. She is not consumed by how long she has to live, but lives to not be consumed.
“Her concern with getting stable is not for herself, but for the benefit of others.
“In typical Ronda ‘selfless fashion’ she wants to continue to be a loving mother, an amazing wife, a wonderful genuine friend and dedicated teacher for her science students.
“She deserves this.”
To donate to Mr Rennies fundraising page, click here.
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