Berwick resident Chloe French named as the face of Stand Up To Cancer campaign in the North East
and live on Freeview channel 276
Chloe French has been named as the face of the joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 in the North East as she celebrates her 25th birthday – a milestone that she feared she would not reach.
She was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma in February this year.
Chloe, who is the daughter of Gail and David French, said: “I first had treatment for melanoma when I was 19-years-old after I noticed a mole on my ear lobe had grown.
“It was a customer at work who first noticed it and after having it removed, I was told it was stage one melanoma. I had never heard of melanoma or how serious it could be.
“I had the mole taken off and opted for a larger section of my ear to be removed to ensure the cancer had no chance of coming back. Little did I know.
“I was then given the all clear and thought that was the last I’d have to worry about it. But sadly, in February this year, I started having pains in my lower back, hips and my left leg.
“I just knew something wasn’t right. A slipped disc, damaged achilles, herniated disc and sciatica were all mentioned.
“But after pushing for an MRI scan, it revealed that the cancer had returned in four places in my body in the form of large tumours – one in my shoulder bone, one in my femur, one in my pelvis, which was the cause of the severe pain, and one in my brain.
“It had also returned in tiny little tumours that were dotted all over my body. Hearing I had a brain tumour was one of the scariest things and something that you never ever prepare to hear in your life.”
Two weeks later, Chloe underwent surgery to remove the tumour on her brain. She also had radiotherapy to try and reduce the size of the tumour on her pelvis and help manage some of the pain.
The next step was to begin immunotherapy, which uses an individual’s own immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells.
Chloe added: “I get treatment every four weeks and it makes me very poorly, so I usually end up in hospital for a few days. I also have scans every three months to keep an eye on the tumours. The last two have shown there has been a good response to the immunotherapy.
“Sadly, the stage of my diagnosis means treatment can only control the cancer growth, but I try to think positively that its impact so far has been good.
“Cancer can affect anyone’s life, at any time, so we really have no choice other than to unite against it and that’s why I’m lending my heartfelt support to Stand Up To Cancer.”
The former HR worker, who can no longer work due to the diagnosis, once again thanked her family and friends for their fundraising efforts as we have previously reported and hopes her story will inspire people to stand together against the disease by raising money to help make the next cancer breakthrough happen.
To donate or fundraise, go to su2c.org.uk