Pals pass £10k mark in wonder drug collection
DEDICATED fundraisers have raised more than £10,000 for a mum who needs £80,000 for a life-prolonging wonder drug.
The community of Port Talbot came together to raise the cash for Gina Herman, who is raising the funds to pay for Yervoy (ipilimumab), which treats melanoma and can add years to a sufferer's life.
The 44-year-old from Tan-y-Groes Street, has been turned down by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board for the drug on cost grounds, her friends and family have claimed. They are now doing all they can to raise the £80,000 needed.
A two-hour fun day at the Aberafan Shopping Centre collected £5,000 for the appeal. Gina's friend Tracey Lewis said the event was unbelievable.
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"There must have been around 200 people who attended and then we had all the shoppers as well," she said. "We were over the moon. We have now raised around £11,000 in two weeks."
Marie Partridge had her hair shaved off at the event to raise cash.
"I was a bit nervous but I did it for my friend Gina," said Marie. "Most of Port Talbot came out and gave us their support. It was overwhelming."
Tracey said they wanted to thank everyone for their support.
"Cory from Tata Steel football club was amazing as he had his legs, chest and under arms waxed. People were throwing money at him," she said.
"I would like to thank everybody who supported us and donated.
"Gina was there for the most of it with her family. They had a bit of fun and it was nice to see her smiling."
Their next fundraiser will be a sponsored bike ride and fun day on Sunday. Kicking off at Tata Steel Football club at 10am, the cyclists will ride to Swansea's LC and back. A fete will be held at the club from 3pm.
"We are hoping to raise another £10,000," said Tracey. "We would like to hear from anyone who has a marquee for the event in case our lovely Welsh weather turns wet."
An ABM spokeswoman said patients who had been turned down for treatment, with the support of their doctor, had a right to request a review.
Contact Tracey on 07772549955 if you can help.