A MUM who received a “devastating” cancer diagnosis before having half of her bowel removed is fundraising for life-saving treatment abroad.

Melissa Hardy, a science teacher at the Ramsey Academy in Halstead, is currently fighting stage four cancer. 

Despite experiencing no symptoms, she was rushed to A&E after getting sudden abdominal pain back in May before being given a diagnosis which changed her life.

“I ignored it for two days”, the 38-year-old said.

“But it became unbearable, and I went to A&E.

Halstead Gazette: Love - the Hardy familyLove - the Hardy family (Image: Public)

“They found my bowel was perforated because of the tumour, and I underwent emergency surgery where I had half my bowel removed.

“When I first received the diagnosis, I was determined to fight it, no question.

“But then I was told it was incurable, in their words it was not a cancer they were going to get rid of.

“This was a month after the op, and after that meeting with the oncologist I hit rock bottom, I was just devastated.”

Halstead Gazette: Support - Phil with MelissaSupport - Phil with Melissa (Image: Public)

Living with cancer has given Melissa, from Sible Hedingham, permanent nerve damage in her hands and feet, making it difficult to walk.

She also suffers from having no immune system, alongside other side effects from the chemotherapy.

After doing some research, Melissa discovered a doctor in Germany offering the treatment she needs, which is not available on the NHS.

Halstead Gazette: Mum - Melissa with her daughter GraceMum - Melissa with her daughter Grace (Image: Public)

She said: “Maintenance chemo is the only option being offered to me and I don’t believe it is sustainable long term due to the incredibly damaging effects it has on the rest of the body.

“I believe the best course of action lies in dendritic cell therapy in Germany.

“Germany is miles ahead of any other country in Europe in terms of integrative oncology - but it comes at a hefty price.”

Halstead Gazette: Smiles - Melissa and husband Phil on their wedding daySmiles - Melissa and husband Phil on their wedding day (Image: Public)

Melissa is now looking to fundraise £60,000, of which just over £7,000 has already been raised.

She is heading to Germany this weekend to begin the first stage or therapy, which includes hyperthermia on the liver and immune system boosting infusion.

“To raise the money needed would mean everything to me,” she said.

“It would allow me to get everything back I’ve lost.”

To donate, visit gofund.me/b3c1c73b.