A MUM who has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer has been given a lifeline after being offered a pioneering form of radiotherapy in America.
The family and friends of Sam Cash have been fundraising to help make her trip more bearable.
Sam was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, a form of bone and cartilage cancer, at the top of her spine, just before Christmas.
She was told that without treatment, her life expectancy would be just one or two years.
The devastating diagnosis was made even more cruel because Sam had watched her father suffer in agony after being diagnosed with a brain tumour before he died.
She said: "My initial reaction was that I didn't want surgery and I didn't want radiotherapy.
"I saw what my dad went through, and I couldn't bear the thought of it. But I realised that I need to do this and give myself the best chance for the sake of my own children."
Sam, of Buffins Road, Odiham, underwent complex surgery in late February to reduce the size of the tumour.
The next step in her treatment will be Proton Beam Therapy - a pioneering radiotherapy, which is not yet available in the UK.
It uses high-energy beam protons rather than high-energy X-rays to deliver radiotherapy, with pinpoint precision. This is the only option when the tumour is close to the brain stem.
Sam, 40, hopes to fly out to Florida for the treatment this month.
The NHS is paying for Sam's travel and accommodation, as well as the treatment, but she will need to fund her daily living costs during the three-month stay, including transportation to and from hospital and food.
She also hopes that during this gruelling treatment, her family will be able to visit, particularly her two children Alyssia, three, and 12-year-old Taylor.
Sam said: "The thought of not seeing my children for three months is just unbearable. I know it is going to be a very difficult time but it would be made so much easier if I knew I would be able to see my family."
The family are hoping to raisee around £15,000 towards the trips. Many of her family, including her husband Paul, a forklift truck driver, have been taking part in sponsored events to help raise the cash.
But they still have a long way to go before hitting their target. For more information, and to make a donation visit gogetfunding.com/project/heartfelt-plea-for-sam-1.