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25 November, 2020

Hayley stuns doctors with recovery

HAYLEY Buchanan, an ex-Ravenshoe resident and business owner has surprised doctors with her remarkable progress in her fight against an aggressive and rare form of cancer.

By Tanya Murphy

Former Ravenshoe resident Hayley Buchanan has amazed doctors with her progress despite being told she would not survive.

She accessed special treatment in Thailand thanks to a fundraiser organised by her family, and has amazed her doctors with her progress, despite being told in February that there was no hope for her survival.

Originally from Melbourne the 39-year old mother moved to the Tablelands region in 2010 where she settled in Kuranda for two years. She later moved to Ravenshoe for eight years where she opened her own community shop/café, the Octopi Garden.

After a family crisis forced her to move back to Melbourne in 2018, Hayley was living with her family in relative bliss until a shock diagnosis.

In February this year, Hayley was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumours (DSRCT), a rare cancer that has only been reported 200-400 times worldwide with a 15 per cent five-year survival rate.

After being denied treatment in Australia due to the extent of her metastasis Hayley saw no other choice but to seek help outside of Australia.

“She saw three oncologists in Australia and they all said ‘there’s nothing we can do for you except give you medication for the pain, so go home and start ticking things off your bucket list,’” said Hayley’s sister Amanda.

“Hayley said ‘I can’t do that, I have a six-year-old daughter. I’m going to fight this.”

After a tumultuous journey trying to get out of Australia in the midst of COVID, Hayley finally succeeded, arriving as the first medical tourist permitted into Thailand on July 19.

The Verita Life Clinic in Thailand offers low-dose chemotherapy which isn’t offered in Australia, which resulted in a 30-50 percent reduction in Hayley’s tumour bulk with some lesions and tumours dissolving completely.

The clinic also offers immune-boosting therapies to help patients survive chemotherapy in optimal health.

Hayley returned to Australia on November 15 in a much better condition than she left.

“Hayley’s doctors were amazed at how well her body responded to the treatment,” said Amanda.

“Before she left Australia, nobody would help her because they said there was nothing they could do that wouldn’t kill her. But now, she’s going to get another round of chemotherapy and one of the best surgeons in Australia is now looking at potentially accepting her for surgery.

“The treatment has done wonders and Hayley is now so full of energy that you wouldn’t know she has cancer besides the fact that she’s skinny and doesn’t have a lot of hair.

“The survival rate for this cancer is practically non-existent so Hayley is now not just fighting for herself, but to show others that there are options, even when you’re told there aren’t.

To date Hayley’s treatments in Thailand and Australia have amounted to $150,000 and the bill is set to increase if she continues treatment.

To keep her treatment and hopes alive a GoFundMe campaign was started by Hayley’s sister Amanda to support her journey and treatment costs. 

If you would like to support Hayley you can donate below.

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