Super-fit pilates instructor from Brazil receives earth-shattering cancer diagnosis while in Australia – and she has no way of paying for treatment or flights home because of coronavirus
- Friends has rallied around a pilates instructor who has stage three colon cancer
- Flavia Santon unable to be with family or return home to Brazil due to travel bans
- Friends have helped raise more than $35,600 towards treatment and chemo
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A young fitness fanatic is battling an aggressive cancer away from her family on the other side of the world due to the coronavirus crisis.
Friends have rallied around Sydney-based Brazillian-Italian pilates instructor Flavia Santon after she was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with high-risk stage three colon cancer on March 6.
She had emergency abdominal surgery the following day and hopes to begin chemotherapy within weeks.
Ms Santon’s symptoms first began in January when she was treated for a severe iron deficiency before her condition recently deteriorated.
Flavia Santon (pictured) was recently diagnosed with high-risk stage three colon cancer
‘A CT scan revealed a blockage in her bowels and her doctor recommended a gastroscopy and colonoscopy,’ a GoFundMe page set up by friends states.
‘The biopsy results confirmed a malignant tumour in her bowel. Unfortunately, the tumour had also spread.’
The aggressive form of bowel cancer has a 40 per cent survival rate.
Ms Santon, who has lived in Sydney since 2016, is unable to return home to Brazil or be reunited with her family due to her condition and the current travel restrictions during the pandemic.
The fundraising page described her as having a passion for fitness and wellbeing who inspires people to become the best version of themselves.
The Sydney-based Brazillian-Italian pilates instructor hopes to start chemo within weeks
Flavia Santon (pictured) has lived in Sydney since 2016 and is unable to return home to Brazil
The qualified physiotherapist has 10 years experience as a pilates instructor.
‘Flavia is a hard worker and has never asked for financial support in her life before,’ the fundraising page page states.
‘But now, due to her medical condition and current restrictions in place with the COVID-19 crisis, she has found herself in a very difficult situation, both financially and emotionally.
‘She needs to start a course of chemotherapy as soon as possible, despite her financial concerns over the cost of medication which is over $20,000. This cost is not covered by her private health insurance and she cannot get any financial support as a part-time worker.’
With her family on the other side of the world, Flavia is relying on friends for support
More than $35,600 has been raised towards Ms Santon’s treatment on GoFundMe and another $2500 on Facebook.
‘I’m sure I’m surrounded by angels,’ a grateful Ms Santon wrote on the fundraising page on Saturday.
‘During a pandemic, people are still helping others. I have no words to describe it. Only gratitude for being receiving so much love around the world. It means a lot to me and it will help me during my recovery and treatment!’
More $35,600 has been raised towards Flavia’s expensive treatment and cancer fight