Cairns woman, 26, makes extraordinary vow to stay alive despite being given just months to live

A determined young woman who has been given just months to live says she will  defy the odds and beat a rare and aggressive cancer doctors say is terminal. 

Cairns real estate agent Lisa Griffiths, 26, was given the crushing news earlier this week that the seven tumours found on her lungs in July had spread to her skull.

Four years ago, she bravely fought and won a battle with brain cancer, but this time her only realistic hope of survival is to find other treatment abroad.

‘When I was first diagnosed at 22 they gave me a year [to live] and I survived,’ Ms Griffiths told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘The diagnosis is devastating but I’m not going to accept it.’ 

 

Lisa Griffiths, 26, (pictured) has been given just months to live after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer

Ms Griffiths bravely fought back before from a brain cancer four years ago. Her 6.7cm tumour (pictured) was discovered in 2015

Ms Griffiths bravely fought back before from a brain cancer four years ago. Her 6.7cm tumour (pictured) was discovered in 2015

'When I was first diagnosed at 22 they gave me a year [to live] and I survived,' Ms Griffiths (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia

‘When I was first diagnosed at 22 they gave me a year [to live] and I survived,’ Ms Griffiths (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia 

The young realtor is due to travel to Mexico – where she will be given a course of medication not yet available in Australia.

Ms Griffiths, who says her cancer is so rare there isn’t another patient nationally who has her strain, doesn’t know how long she will need to be on the treatment for.

‘I’m on a targeted therapy drug at the moment which makes you very tired a lot of the time,’ she said. 

As well as suffering from fatigue, the young woman is seeing her hair start to turn white under the stress of her condition. 

She is suffering from a form of primary intracranial lesion – an abnormal brain tissue growth which scientists say carries a survival rate within five years of less than 34 per cent.

Over the course of her four-year battle with cancer, the young woman has had to learn to walk again and suffered with memory loss and speech difficulties.

Ms Griffiths (pictured) was given the crushing news earlier this week the seven tumours found on her lungs in July had spread to her skull

Ms Griffiths (pictured) was given the crushing news earlier this week the seven tumours found on her lungs in July had spread to her skull

LISA GRIFFITHS’ FOUR-YEAR CANCER BATTLE

July 2015 – Diagnosed with brain cancer

July 2015-May 2016 – Underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment

December 2018 – Brain cancer returns

September 2018 – Brain operation

 July 2019 – Cancer spreads to lungs

August 2019 – New treatment begins but is unsuccessful

October 2019 – Doctors reveal cancer has spread to her skull

October 2019 – She seeks medical treatment in Mexico 

Her close friend and co-worker Megs Whiteside said the cost of the treatment in Mexico could reach as much as $150,000 or even beyond that.

‘I’ve already spent $250,000 of my own money,’ Ms Griffiths said. ‘I need to explore all the avenues through the private system.

‘If I was in the public system I’d be dead.’ 

In a bid to finance the massive cost of her friend’s treatment, Ms Whiteside and Ms Griffiths’ partner Troy McGuane have organised a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds required.

The fundraising page was only created less than 24 hours ago, but in that space of time about $60,000 has been raised towards the $150,000 goal. 

‘Cairns is such a great community and it’s not a one person job,’ Ms Whiteside said.

In a bid to finance the massive cost of her friend's treatment, close friend Megs Whiteside and Ms Griffiths' (pictured left and right) partner Troy McGuane have organised a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds required

In a bid to finance the massive cost of her friend’s treatment, close friend Megs Whiteside and Ms Griffiths’ (pictured left and right) partner Troy McGuane have organised a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds required

Ms Griffiths is pictured when she underwent radiotherapy treatment in September 2018

Ms Griffiths is pictured when she underwent radiotherapy treatment in September 2018

She believes the majority of the money has been contributed by friends and local businesses in the Cairns area.

WHAT ARE PRIMARY INTRACRANIAL BRAIN LESIONS?

Lesions are an area of deformed tissue on the brain

They can be small and harmless or malignant and deadly 

Primary intracranial tumors are rare and carry a five-year survival rate of just 33.4 per cent

Common symptoms include headaches and seizures 

The word ‘primary’ denotes that the cancer started in the brain 

‘Never once has she ever complained or looked for sympathy even when she was devastatingly faced with loss of eyesight,’ she wrote on the fundraiser.

‘Through every grim diagnosis and only weeks after each surgery she turned up to work every day with a positive attitude, always looking to make others smile.’

Ms Griffiths’ partner has also contributed to the cause by sharing an impassioned video online asking for help. 

Mr McGuane almost broke down in tears as he spoke of the terminal diagnosis.

He too said he had been blown away by the incredible support for the campaign.

‘The support has humbled myself and Lisa and I have cried multiple times today, not in sadness but due to me being so proud of her,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

The young realtor (pictured) is about to travel to Mexico after treatment in August was unsuccessful - where she will be given a course of medication not yet available in Australia

The young realtor (pictured) is about to travel to Mexico after treatment in August was unsuccessful – where she will be given a course of medication not yet available in Australia

Ms Griffiths' partner Troy McGuane (pictured) has contributed to the cause by sharing an impassioned video online asking for help

Ms Griffiths’ partner Troy McGuane (pictured) has contributed to the cause by sharing an impassioned video online asking for help

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk