The 37-year-old mom had to plead with doctors for them to take her problem seriously and when they did, the diagnosis was cancer. And she was left with two choices - her face, or more time with her kids.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 25, 2020. It has since been updated.
Mothers are incredible when it comes to being there for their children. They willingly give up their comfort so their kids could have what they want. One such mom lives in Cornwall, UK, who made the ultimate sacrifice just to be able to live a little longer for her children. She chose to lose her eyesight in one eye and upper teeth to radiotherapy so she could spend more time with her children. The British mom was diagnosed with stage two squamous cell carcinoma of the nose and sinuses, according to her GoFundMe page.
Kerry Borlase, a 37-year-old chef from Tintagel, Cornwall, was getting ready to get married to her 33-year-old fiance` Robert, who proposed in March 2019, when she was diagnosed. She has three children, Nathan, 20, Lauren, 15, and Dylan, 14, who is severely autistic, and an 11-month-old granddaughter, Olivia. The mother felt that something was off when her blocked nose, which began in January, did not clear up despite nasal sprays, according to Metro UK.
Head and neck cancer patient, Kerry Borlase would rather give up her teeth and the ability to see if it means to stay with her family. Read her story >> https://t.co/eUtCCLZUIA pic.twitter.com/B4RV0nUOfb— Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (@hncalliance) November 22, 2019
She was dismissed by doctors for months and was given only antibiotics even though she complained of a blocked nose repeatedly. "I’d sit up in the morning and pure gunk would just pour out of my nose, I’ve gone through so much toilet roll it’s unbelievable. I couldn’t breathe properly and it was causing me to have panic attacks, but I was ringing the doctors crying and they just weren’t listening to me. My nose was leaking so much it was making me not want to leave the house, it was embarrassing, and it was just ruining my quality of life but nobody would help me," said the mom.
It took six months for her to get a specialist appointment. The doctors did a biopsy and asked her to prepare for the worst. They found a large cancerous tumor behind her nose and eye, according to Metro UK. "I had a full-blown panic attack in the waiting room when I went to get my results of the biopsy, I was an absolute mess," Kerry explained to Newsner. "The doctor took me into a side room and by the time he told me I had cancer, I was completely hysterical and had lost all capacity," said the mom-of-three.
Within two weeks, she was booked in for the surgery "and the surgeon was really confident that he had managed to remove it completely but there was a 50% chance of the cancer returning."
After the surgery, she was given the option of radiotherapy, which would reduce the chances of the cancer returning to 20%. But, it comes with the condition that her upper gums will be destroyed and her eyesight in the right eye. However, this mother had only one priority: making sure she is there for her children.
Head and neck cancer patient, Kerry Borlase would rather give up her teeth and the ability to see if it means to stay with her family. Read her story >> https://t.co/flbyhPpUda pic.twitter.com/cFKSH7IVTT— OHANCAW (@OHANCAW) November 22, 2019
"Hearing it would reduce the chance of the cancer coming back to 20% made the decision for me really. I’d rather have half my teeth removed and go blind than leave my children behind to bury me," said the mom. "I’m choosing to have the radiotherapy so I can have more time with my family – they’re my world and I’d rather go blind than leave my kids without a mum," said the mom.
Her fiance has been very supportive throughout the process and the couple has been forced to stop working to care for her. "My partner Rob has been so supportive through it all, and we’ve both had to give up work at the moment because of the cancer, so things are really difficult," she said.
Before the surgery, she had faced difficulties finding support for care for her autistic son from social services, according to her GoFundMe page, and the problems made her priorities became doubly clear. So, now this mom is fighting tooth and nail to stay alive to care for her children and we hope that her battle for survival is successful.