A Thamesmead mum has thanked all those who have made it possible for her to put down a deposit on a potentially lifesaving operation.
Sasha Jones, pictured, has told fund-raisers and supporters that she is “heart-wrenchingly happy” to confirm enough cash has been raised for her to make the first payment for her second bone marrow transplant.
The mum-of-two said with other fund-raisers in the pipeline, including a Cash4Sash Charity Night at Sidcup Working Men’s Club, she is hugely hopeful the remainder of the money for the operation will be raised.
Sasha and her family launched the campaign to raise between £100,000 and £250,000 to fund the vitally-needed operation after NHS England decided to end routine second stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancer and disorders last July.
The 34-year-old was originally diagnosed in March 2015 with leukaemia and was treated with four rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She relapsed last August and was devastated to discover the change in rules. Sasha, whose personal appeal against the decision was turned down earlier this month, has won a huge outpouring of support for her plight.
Thanking supporters including the thousands in a Facebook Group, she said: “ I’m extremely pleased, relieved, exasperated, delighted, anxious, tearful but most of all heart-wrenchingly happy to inform you all that because of all your hard work, love, tears, strength, sheer determination and people power from not only here but across the country, across the globe in fact, we – you – have been able to put a substantial deposit down on my second transplant.”
The operation is to be undertaken under private care at King’s Hospital in Camberwell with an admission scheduled for Monday, February 20.
She said: “The fund-raising events that have just happened and are about to happen, will ensure the transplant will be able to be paid in full and hopefully leave us with enough to cover our expenses while I’m in there for the month and some of my recovery.” Thanking people who have set up Cash for Sash events, she said: “We are truly, forever grateful and can’t thank you enough.”
Melissa Okine, who is a co-organiser of the event at Sidcup Working Men’s Club in Main Road on Saturday, was introduced to Sasha by a friend of her family. She said like many people she was moved by Sasha messages on her Facebook page, and had joined the national campaign to battle the Government’s decision.
The 38-year-old, from Lee, said: “The words of determination and hope from Sasha touched people’s hearts and her attitude to fighting this disease has been an inspiration to everyone. Her words have brought home the harsh reality of the world that we live in where we literally have to fight for our lives. This is just what Sasha is doing, these words have inspired everyone to pull together and do something about Sasha’s situation – by making sure she gets the treatment she needs and also to try and make sure any one in her position in the future has the right to have that treatment too.”
The project co-ordinator at CDW computer services is hugely impressed in the way people from South-east London and across the country have worked to organise a huge amount of fund-raisers and backed the campaign to reinstate funding for second stem cell transplants.
The Cash4Sash Charity Night, organised by Melissa, Peter Johnson and Seniha Slowinski, promises a great night of entertainments as it has grown out of the #talentforsasha challenge for which people took videos of themselves showcasing their talents. The event compered by Paul Cullinan is to feature singer Q-Tee, comedian Roland Saunders and The Worries Band. There is also to be an art auction of works donated by street artist Nathan Bowen, Martin Ball and Stephanie Snyder.
The organisers are hugely grateful to the club for donating the venue free of charge and all the companies who have donated buffet food and items to raffle or auction which means all the cash raised can go to Sasha’s fund.
People are urged to sign the petition at www.change.org/p/give-sasha-a-chance-don-t-stop-funding-second-stem-cell-transplants and donate via https://www.gofundme.co/rvg4m54m
For tickets costing £10 each for the Cash4Sash Charity Night contact Melissa on 07961 165498, Peter on 07940 523 870 or Seniha on 07891 941 144.