Fundraising in Bradford for life-changing cancer treatment

A DETERMINED Bradford woman is raising money for a life-changing treatment – raising more than £25,000 in three days after being shocked diagnosed.

Bakhtawer Kashef, 28, from Bierley, was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in July 2021 after rushing to A&E with severe stomach pain, where she was taken for a surgical intervention.

Biopsy results revealed it was cancer, much to the surprise of doctors and family.

A fundraising campaign with a goal of £50,000 has been set up by family and friends so that Bakhtawar can get treatment and get his life back on track.

Bakhtawer, the eldest of four siblings, said: “It was a huge shock, it turned my life upside down.

“Before the diagnosis, I worked Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then I was bedridden.

“My family and friends have been very supportive of me and we’re all trying to be strong in our own way.

“It’s definitely my parents who have suffered the most, they don’t want to cry in front of me, but I can see it in their eyes.

“It really upsets me because if I could improve I would, but I can’t control my body.”

She started chemotherapy in September 2021 and went into remission.

“Chemo is hard on the physical side because your body shuts down, but the depression and anxiety that comes with it can be harder.”

A month ago, Bakhtawer learned that his cancer had spread and there was nothing doctors could do to help him.

But Bakhtawer was not ready to give up.

After learning that his cancer had spread and he didn’t have much left, Bakhtawer and his family began to research and look for other options when they discovered a potential treatment.

“There is a Spanish medical company that offers a treatment – we spoke to the doctors and consultants, and they told me that there is a good chance that this treatment will work for me.

“Immunotherapy has worked for a lot of people and if we can get the £50,000 the doctors are ready to start treatment.”

The company, which has a clinic in London, will come to Bakhtawar to provide the treatment, making it as easy as possible for him.

“Treatment needs to be done as soon as possible because I’m starting chemotherapy again and it’s working in parallel.

“I hope it will shrink cancer cells and make me cancer free.”

She is booked for her first cycle of chemotherapy on October 11 and should receive the treatment as soon as possible.

Before cancer took over her life, Bakhtawer was well on her way to becoming a lawyer, having landed a training contract with Mamas & Papas.

“It’s really competitive to get a training contract and I got one, I’m determined to improve and get my qualification.

“Mamas & Papas saw potential in me, that’s why they gave me the contract.

“I’m naturally quite a stubborn person, if someone tells me I can’t do something, it makes me want to do it more and that’s how I feel about it.

“I slowly got back to work, racked up my hours, and then we found out the cancer had come back.

“If I can go, I can finish my training by next year and be fully qualified.”

Bakhtawer has found a small online community that over the past three days has opened his eyes to the stories of many young people who have battled and survived cancer.

People from all over the world have reached out to share their stories of how this treatment has worked for them.

“We didn’t expect so many people to donate, and I can’t believe we’re halfway there.

“People have been so nice and supportive, it’s really encouraging and we really appreciate any donations.

“£50,000 is a lot of money, but it could save my life.

“Someone contacted me and told me that his father had done this treatment and it worked for him.

“I’m extremely optimistic and hope this works out for me.”

By finding this community online and having made this journey, Bakhtawer wants to give back and raise awareness for bowel cancer.

“I want to give back and help other people who are going through the same problem.

“But I want to thank everyone who has donated so far and helped me reach £25,000.”

To donate and support Bakhtawer click here.

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