Rallying to young mum’s rare cancer fight

Support: Stephanie Dempsey with son Kenley. Her family aim to raise an initial �10,000 for treatment
Support: Stephanie Dempsey with son Kenley. Her family aim to raise an initial �10,000 for treatment

Family and friends of a young mum are urgently trying to raise an initial £10,000 to get her specialist treatment for a virulent form of cancer.

Twenty-two year-old Stephanie Dempsey has been diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer which mainly affects young people with sickle cell trait.

The former Calder High School pupil, of Luddenden Foot, mum to three-year-old Kenley, is being treated for the cancer in Leeds and has been given a poor prognosis. But her sister Jade Glover, who has begun organising fundraising events, said treatment at a specialist clinic in France could make a difference.

Jade said the family had been told about specialist treatment by American woman Cora Connor, who runs website www.rmcsupport.org, offering support on understanding the rare condition and whose brother Herman had been successfully treated by a US specialist.

Renal medullary carcinoma was only rarely seen, making it more difficult for general cancer surgeons to recognise it, said Jade, and the fundraising campaign was also aimed at promoting awareness.

“It is a kidney cancer but it spreads differently to normal and usual chemotherapy doesn’t work on this. We are starting off with a £10,000 target and if we can get there it will cover getting started,” she said.

Stephanie, who lived in Todmorden for a time, was over the moon with the support already received - £4,000 raised in just over week - said Jade, and was home following some treatment. “She is determined, she wants to do it and is keeping it positive. We want to promote awareness because if caught early the condition is so much easier to treat. It stays in the kidney, which can be removed, but it spreads so quickly. We want to get information out there. We didn’t know it existed and I am sure a lot of people don’t,” she said.

Read more about Stephanie’s case on the Gofundme site - https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-stephanie - and the family would welcome everyone’s support at a fundraiser, the first of many, at Mytholmroyd Community Centre on Saturday, September 23, from noon until 5.30pm.

Featuring everything from printing your own t-shirts and badges to sponsored body waxing via stalls, games, raffles and tombolas, the family hope as many people as possible will have an enjoyable afternoon for Stephanie’s cause.