Navan family fundraising to cover costly cancer treatment in Germany
Published Saturday, July 21, 2018 4:27PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 21, 2018 6:52PM EDT
Four years after receiving her first cancer diagnosis, Navan’s Sarah Haddad is getting set for a journey she hopes will end her breast cancer battle once and for all.
“It was just too painful to watch and know there was another thing out there that we could try,” said Sarah’s husband Matt Haddad.
Sarah was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2014. She was 26. After six months of intense chemo, a lumpectomy, and 29 rounds of chemo, she was declared cancer free.
Her cancer came back in 2018, but this time it had spread to her liver and bones.
“That was the toughest part, watching her go through it and it not working,” said Haddad’s husband. “Nobody gave us an alternative option. They just hope what we are doing works and then if not, too bad.”
Hopeless and out of options, the Haddads turned to a specialized clinic in the Bavarian town of Burghausen, Germany that offers regional chemotherapy. There, doctors treat tumors directly by administering traditionally available chemotherapy drugs through an artery Instead of through the entire body.
“If we can prolong a life at a good quality then we reached what we wanted, what we are aiming at,” Aigner told CTV National News in June.
But the treatment is expensive and not all doctors agree it is effective. In Canada, the treatment is only available in rare and specific cases and not to the general public.
The Haddas have already made one trip to Germany which cost about $55,000. This time, they’re looking at more than $100,000 for four rounds of treatment, airfare to Germany and living expenses for one month abroad.
“An hour after treatment she is banging on the table for food,” Haddad said about his wife’s first treatment. “Here, when we get home from chemo, for a day or two days or three days I couldn’t cook in the house.”
To help fund Sarah’s treatment the family has started a GoFundMe page. As of Saturday afternoon, more than 860 people had donated more than $107,000.
“I’m hoping to get 1,000 donors to show her how much people care,” Haddad said.
The couple leaves for Germany on Monday.
You can follow Sarah's journey on her blog.