Wolvesbite.com is hoping to raise funds for Wolves fanatic Claire Elliott’s cancer treatment.
We’re offering a framed limited edition print of the 1980 League Cup final celebrations at Wembley, signed by eight of the Wolves team, to the highest bidder.
All the money from the winning offer will go to Claire’s GoFundMe page set up to raise cash for her treatment.
Wolvesbite.com editor Tim Nash decided to donate the print after winning the prize from a ‘true or false’ quiz at a charity lunch at The Mount Hotel in Tettenhall on March 15 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the League Cup win.
Claire, aged 51, from Worcestershire, was diagnosed with uterine cancer in December 2016. She was given less than a year to live in 2018, but was told she had beaten the condition 10 months later.
The cancer has since returned and Claire has been undergoing palliative chemotherapy, but the coronavirus pandemic could interrupt her treatment, according to an NHS document.
She desperately needs life-saving immunotherapy called Pembroluzimab, which is not available in the UK. Her treatment could cost a total of £120,000. Without it, she has been given between two and eight months to live.
Anyone wishing to bid for the picture should visit Tim’s Twitter page TimNash_1 . The auction will run to midnight on Sunday, March 29.
A GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/f/pnne6-cancer-treatment-for-claire?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet page set up for her by her friends has so far raised £12,295 in two weeks of the initial £21,000 for her to have potentially life-saving treatment in Cyprus, but entry to that country has been complicated by the global pandemic.
Despite her health struggles, Claire and her husband Greg has supported Wolves all over the world over the last four decades, from pre-season tours to the Europa League trips this season.
“Claire is a lifelong Wolves fan who has supported the club through its darkest days,” said Tim. “I have known her for over 30 years so I wanted to do something to help her receive the treatment she needs to try to beat this disease.
“I realise this is a hard time for us all at the moment, but it would be great to see Claire’s chances of treatment boosted and for someone to enjoy this piece of memorabilia.”
Claire has said the NHS’s proposed treatment priority list makes her “feel like my life is not worth anything”.
“Well it’s a bit numbing to be honest,” said Claire. “I’ve been expecting it, but I’m a bit tearful at (seeing) the actual publication. (It) makes me feel like my life is not worth anything.”
A section on systemic anti-cancer treatments in the NHS guide, published on March 17, reads: “This will differ according to tumour type, but it is suggested that clinicians begin to categorise patients into priority groups from one to six.
“If services are disrupted, patients can be prioritised for treatment accordingly.”
The categories range from priority level one ‘Curative therapy with a high (greater than 50 per cent) chance of success’ to priority level six ‘Non-curative therapy with an intermediate (15-50 per cent) chance of palliation’ or ‘Temporary tumour control and less than one-year life extension’.
While the NHS document said the possibility of cancer services being compromised was ‘an unlikely scenario’, it added that planning was required.
It also said: “The risks of beginning or continuing their cancer treatment could outweigh the benefits, given that many patients receiving systemic therapies in particular are more at risk of becoming seriously unwell if they contract the coronavirus infection.”
The NHS wrote to patients with underlying health conditions relevant to coronavirus last week. Claire said her consultant told her that such an eventuality was possible.
Due to Covid-19, a trial she was due to take part in has been pulled due to lack of ITU beds. So Pembroluzimab is realistically the only option left.
This costs £3,200 a cycle and Claire needs tissue typing, a procedure where the tissues of a prospective donor and recipient are tested for compatibility prior to transplantation. Mismatched donor and recipient tissues can lead to rejection of the tissues.
Tissue typing would cost £5,000, followed by an initial five cycles to see if the treatment is effective and then up to 35 cycles in total.
It is not licensed in the UK for Claire’s cancer, but is for head and neck, prostate and some types of lung cancer.
Due to its access it was fast-tracked in the US but is not due to be assessed in the UK until 2023.
Claire believes that without treatment she was likely to become more uncomfortable. “The chemo I have now is to shrink the tumour and stop it pressing on my abdomen,” she said. “I was in pain, so that will recur at some point and the cancer will spread.”
She reckoned the priority group she is categorised in may depend on who the reviewing clinician is. “It would be difficult for me if it’s someone making decisions who doesn’t know me,” she added.