A teacher with inoperable cancer is trying to raise £60,000 to help fund expensive private treatment in a bid to extend her life.

Melissa Hardy, 38, a science teacher at Halstead's Ramsey Academy, has raised £18,550 through a GoFundMe page after being diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer.

The mum-of-one was discovered she had cancer in May 2023 after suddenly experiencing severe abdominal pain, resulting in an emergency trip to A&E.

A large tumour was discovered in Melissa’s bowel.

Halstead Gazette: Positive - Melissa Hardy with her daughter Grace HardyPositive - Melissa Hardy with her daughter Grace Hardy (Image: Melissa Hardy)

Halstead Gazette: Couple - Melissa Hardy with her husband Phil HardyCouple - Melissa Hardy with her husband Phil Hardy (Image: Melissa Hardy)

The cancer had also spread to her liver, with multiple large lesions.

In July, Melissa began the first of 12 chemotherapy treatments which helped shrink the tumours in her liver.

She was recently advised that surgery is not an option, meaning she will have to stay on maintenance chemotherapy for life.

Melissa is now looking into alternative treatments as chemotherapy can have a severe impact on the body.

She started a GoFundMe Page to help pay for a private treatment which could help manage her condition.

Halstead Gazette: Family - A great photo of Melissa Hardy and her daughter Grace HardyFamily - A great photo of Melissa Hardy and her daughter Grace Hardy (Image: Melissa Hardy)

Halstead Gazette: Upbeat - A group photo of the Hardy familyUpbeat - A group photo of the Hardy family (Image: Melissa Hardy)

Dendritic cell therapy can help the body’s immune system recognise and attack cancer cells.

Melissa, whose daughter Grace is aged seven, has been overwhelmed by the support she has received so far.

"It is just incredible," she said.

"I am just grateful to everyone that has donated.

"I can't believe how supportive everyone has been - nothing is too much.

"We've raised quite a lot of money so far. It's hard to put into words really."

Melissa believes the treatment will enable her to take part in everyday life.

At the moment she is signed off from the job she adores, has decreased mobility, often feels weak, fatigued and dizzy, and suffers from a skin rash.

Melissa is looking into alternative therapies not available on the NHS which are available in countries like Germany such as the dendritic vaccines and immunotherapy.

Family trips and social events are too difficult at the moment, but she is remaining positive.

She said: "I have always been quite a positive person.

" I don’t have a choice. If I allow myself to be negative, I don’t think that would help.

“You’ve got to face up to things. It’s tough, but overall I’m keeping positive.

“We were meant to go to Egypt last summer, but it did not happen as I was having an operation.

“A family holiday is a goal this year.”

To donate, go to gofundme.com/f/beat-bowel-cancer.