Former teaching assistant crowdfunds for cancer treatment: ‘£60k could help save my life’


A former teaching assistant is fighting for her life after medics told her she has two years to live – and she believes a new treatment will save her.

Natasha Shannahan, 35, (pictured right) who has had to stop working at special needs school Greenvale in Catford, has a growing brain tumour which has already been operated on.

But 20 per cent of the cancer is still lodged in her skull – and it has begun to grow.

Natasha, pictured, from Queen Adelaide Road, Penge, who worked with teenagers who have autism, was diagnosed in February 2017 after having a seizure as she was getting ready for work.

She underwent brain surgery days later in March – and during the operation she had to stay awake to avoid being paralysed.

The growth was initially benign but it has now started to grow and is now a stage 3 cancer. She was told treatment could not stop her life being shortened by the cancer – she was given seven years to live.

When she asked about proton beam therapy, having been told about it by a detox expert, she was told it would not be appropriate for her and she was discharged.

The closest place to have it done would be the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Nerwport, but a potentially life-saving six weeks of treatment will be cheaper in Prague – though it would cost £60,000.

Natasha has been told the initial consultation in Prague will be on January 14.

Before treatment she would have to undergo treatment planning on January 28 followed by treatment from February 5-March 20.

Throughout the course of treatment she would undergo CT scans to monitor the status of the tumour.

Her aunt Tammy Smith, also 35 from nearby Burham Close in Penge, and an executive assistant working in Waterloo, said: “Tasha had to give up work even after she was diagnosed but she has had to give up everything to focus on this.

She is trying to stay positive – and throughout this whole time she has been able to do that somehow.

But it is an emotional roller-coaster and sometimes she just breaks down.

“Proton treatment will give her the chance to live a full life again. We don’t have that kind of money as a family.

She is such an inspirational woman, and I am so proud of the way she is fighting this. But it is really sinking in what she is facing. “I want to grow old with my niece, she has been like a sister.

I don’t want my kids to lose her. £60,000 is a staggering amount but it is a small price to put on a life. But how do we get that?”

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