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Strangers raise $70,000 to help mom with terminal cancer spend more time with daughter

The young mom, given just four more months to live, is trying to buy more time with her daughter.

Strangers raise $70,000 to help mom with terminal cancer spend more time with daughter
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Rachel Burns

Life is full of unexpected twists, reminding us how precious our time with loved ones truly is. A young mother from Northern Ireland experienced this firsthand when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The 22-year-old mother of a baby girl has been given only four months to live. Yet, strangers worldwide are coming together to help her extend her time with her daughter, according to Belfast Live.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Rachael Burns, who lives in West Belfast with her partner Robert and their one-year-old daughter Raeya, began experiencing severe headaches and eye discomfort eight months ago. Initially, doctors dismissed her symptoms as dehydration. However, an emergency visit to the Royal Victoria Hospital revealed a brain tumor with a rare, life-threatening mutation, leaving Burns terminally ill. "Until last week I had in my head all of this hope that I would still maybe have a few years but at my appointment last week I had to get my mum to leave the room because she didn’t want to hear anything about the prognosis," Burns told the news channel.

Cover Image Source: GoFundMe | Rachel Burns
Image Source: GoFundMe | Rachel Burns

Earlier this June, her diagnosis shook Burns's loved ones. She and her family are desperately trying to find treatment options that could extend her life span a little more so that she can spend more time with Raeya. Turns out, people with this condition usually have 9 to 12 months to live but since Burns' symptoms started 8 months ago, she was given a maximum of four more months. The young mother wanted to use the little time she had left to express her love for her daughter. "When I found out at first about the diagnosis I ordered loads of different envelopes and stuff so that I can write all her birthday cards for her for when I’m not here to give her them, so that stuff just isn’t easy," she added.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Thirdman
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Thirdman

Since the mass in her brain was extending down to her spine and impacting the nervous system, the doctors have ruled out the option of surgery. However, a radiotherapy treatment, ONC201, that has the potential to extend her life was Burns's only hope, as per her GoFundMe campaign. The crowdfunding campaign was initiated because the treatment was in Germany and it called for travel, accommodation and medical expenses. "There have been different trials and in many cases, this has prolonged people’s lives," a hopeful Burns said.

Burns's GoFundMe set a goal amount of $89,000 and little did they expect that so many strangers would come forward to help. Over 2800 people have donated and more than $71,000 has been raised so far. "I’m just totally overwhelmed by the response that we have got so far," Burns told the news channel in a recent update. With this rapid financial support, Burns will now be able to start her treatment. "Time is really important for me now so to be able to have raised so much money so quickly is just unbelievable," she added.

If you'd like to contribute to Rachael and her efforts, take a look at her GoFundMe page. 

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