Katie Cox thanks everyone for their support
The Katie Cox fund is now at $130,000 after a massive response from within and outside the harness racing community.
The talented and respected trainer-driver, who is 33, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer.
A charitable trust was set up to help her with her medical and other expenses, and the response has been incredible.
In the following Facebook post she thanks everyone who has supported her.
Just wanted to say a massive thank you to each and every person (clubs, trainers, owners, drivers and supporters) for their encouragement and support so far. I am humbled by your generosity and the many kind words. A big thanks must also go to all those who have helped initiate this.
I have started on my first treatments this week and all is going well so far, hopefully the results will be excellent from this medication.
I thought I would just share a few things for those of you asking that I now know about my medical situation as it has certainly been an unbelievable few weeks with many a learning curve.
Strong, fit and healthy would be how I describe myself… and a visit to the doctor ‘the first in years’ after a cold with a cough for some antibiotics seemed very sensible. After a second prescription a local and proactive young doctor to whom I am very grateful to suggested an x-ray. This came back to everyone’s surprise showing a collapsed lung, and so a bronchoscopy followed for a biopsy, then a CT scan, followed by a PET/CT scan.
At this stage I am still feeling absolutely fine except for the niggling cough. However, by now results are being delivered by the team at Christchurch Public Hospital and with a week or two between each procedure and result 5 weeks have passed.
The first diagnosis was Adenocarcinoma – or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and quite treatable. Fortunately, the public hospital uses an international gold standard for the biopsy molecular profiling called NGS or next-generation sequencing. Many countries and parts of the US do not yet have this available. The results came back showing the biomarker or (genome sequencing) as EGFR EXON 20.
In the past EGFR 19 and 21 have been tested for and drugs have been developed for treatment. The EXON 20 is a more recent finding, it is not any cell type but the way a normal cell is multiplying that is treated. Unfortunately, due to lack of Pharmac funding in the public system, (although private health insurance also does not cover these drugs costs) the private sector can offer options.
The important thing is that previous drug treatments are ineffective, however with this detailed analysis new Targeted drugs as the 3rd generation Osimertinib which works by turning off a switch in the cancer cell that the cell needs to survive, which I started on this week. As yet scientists haven’t found a direct cause for the large number of young females often super fit athletes, marathon runners, and non-smokers being diagnosed with EXON 20.
Because of the lack of symptoms, and they think a strong immunity that fights such a cell change, diagnosis is usually in the later stages and the mutating cells protect themselves building resistance from the usual drugs. This means to date any drug tends to be effective for a certain time, and then an alternate one needs to be used. At present in the US the first line treatment is using an infusion drug Rybrevant, along with three other combined drugs.
I am so immensely grateful due to all the amazing support from the racing community to be able to start on the Osimertinib oral drug - this includes part-funding and being capped by Astra Zenaca at $120,000.00. Interestingly Australia has reduced their price of $8000.00 a month to $41.30 to make it affordable and life-saving for more people.
Presently another drug Amivantamab is $200,000.00 for 3 months in NZ, however this is just for the drug which needs to be administered by an oncologist by slow infusion with all those associated costs, and is usually combined with 1 – 3 other drugs. I have made contact with great international professional advice network for EXON 20 on the latest drug trials and drugs about to be released with phone conferencing and updates from conferences.
Along with the great specialist I am seeing, a good fighting spirit and time for research I am aiming for positive progress.
Please deposit any donations small or large into the following account.
Whatever with Wiggy Charitable Trust CC59951
Katie Cox Appeal
Please use the reference Katie