Sell My Story with Phoenix Features - Getting you The Best Deal Available For Your Real Life Story. Fun Fast & Friendly Service. Call Kim @ Phoenix features on 01380 850 860

Two Terminal illnesses

Jo is facing an impossible situation. She has two terminal illnesses, and sadly attempting to treat one of them means the other will kill her. Her cancer doctors won’t let her pulmonary hypertension doctors treat the pulmonary hypertension, the pulmonary hypertension doctors won’t let the cancer doctors treat the cancer. In the middle of it all is Jo, the most wonderful, smiley, giggling, happy woman I’ve ever worked with. Sensibly, Jo is focusing on life’s happy moments, spending time with her son and making memories, while her army of wonderful friends raise the money she needs for potentially life saving alternative treatment in Thailand. 

Jo needs all the help she can get. If you would like to donate to her cause, please get in touch with me and I’ll direct you to her Just Giving page.
Jo’s story appeared in Reveal magazine, you can read the full story here.

Jo is the only person in the world to be facing two terminal illnesses – tragically attempting to treat one of them means the other will kill her… But treating neither leaves her equally lost.
Jo, 36, explains:
A few years ago, life couldn’t have been better. I’d married my soulmate and on my 30th birthday we decided to try for our first baby.
During my pregnancy I was walking the dog every day and felt so fit and healthy. Pregnancy made me feel like superwoman – I could achieve anything.
I dreamed of having more children after Rudey, now three, because I wanted him to have the same carefree upbringing I’d had with my sibling.
I bought Rudey a sling and took him walking with me every day – we were never apart.
By the time he was a year old, I began to feel lethargic. When I stood up, I felt dizzy. Soon I couldn’t walk anywhere without gasping for breath.
At first I put it down to being a new mum. Then I started getting pains in my chest and I could feel my heart throbbing. Rudey took his first steps on his first birthday and I hardly had the energy to acknowledge it.
Moments were passing me by because of whatever was wrong, so I was given an ECG.
I didn’t expect it to be anything serious. But the doctor had grave news.
The pulmonary arteries in my lungs were stiff and thickened and my heart was struggling to push blood around my body.
‘It’s called Pulmonary Hypertension,’ the doctor said.
It was a very rare progressive, degenerative disease. A heart and lung transplant was my only hope.
A month later I was hit with the double whammy. A routine test revealed I had a large tumour by my left kidney.
After a year of weighing up the risks, I had an operation to remove the tumour. But several small masses remained dotted around my lymphatic system.
The two conditions are thought not to be linked. But the tragedy is that to treat one, is to fuel the other.
I need a heart and lung transplant to cure my PH, but I can’t be put on the transplant list until I’ve had the all-clear from cancer for five years.
But I can’t undergo radiotherapy to stop the small masses spreading, because the PH doctors say it’ll be too much risk to my weakened heart and lungs. One set of doctors vetoed the advice of the other.
It’s a cruel catch-22, in which I don’t know if I’ll get to see my son grow up.
I’m raising money to try a new treatment in Thailand that may save my life.
I live for Rudey. ‘Kisses and cuddles make you feel better, Mummy,’ he says.
His innocence in all this is a blessing. I never want to have to explain to him what I’m facing. He says he doesn’t mind me going into hospital all the time because doctors are trying to make me better.
I long to run around with him and sometimes the fact I can’t reduces me to tears. Then Rudey says: ‘Don’t worry Mummy, we can do something else.’
I’m facing an impossible situation. But with Rudey by my side, I concentrate on how lucky I am.