South Shields mum Esma set for new trial in cancer fight

Esma Richardson. Picture by FRANK REID
Esma Richardson. Picture by FRANK REID

A mum from South Tyneside who is battling cancer is preparing to undergo tests ahead of trying a new drug treatment aimed at prolonging her life.

Esma Richardson, from Broughton Road, South Shields, was left devastated when a previous drugs trial stopped working.

However, thanks to the Bobby Robson Foundation, the 39-year-old has been offered the chance to take part in a trial called VanSel - 1.

It will see the mum of three - who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2014, which then spread to 19 other parts of her body - take two types of medication - vandetanib and selumetinib.

It aims to stop cancerous cells from growing helping to prolong her life.

Esma is currently raising £50,000 to help fund a treatment called Stereotactic radiotherapy which would kill one of the tumours unable to be operated on by the NHS.

This week, Esma - who is mum to Connor, 19, Marcus, five and Andrew, three - will undergo a series of scans ahead of the start of the drugs trial at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

She said: “I have to undergo a CT scan and tests including an ECG and eye test as part of the trial. These will all be done this week with a biopsy either this week or next.

“Going into the new trial has been stressful as it’s stepping into the unknown but it’s something I have to do.

“It is frightening. I have been in so much pain lately.”

She added: “The last drugs trial I started to feel a difference within five days, so hopefully, this will be the same.”

Esma added: “I have just spent a week away in a caravan with my family which I needed as I have been exhausted, so the break away has helped me a lot.”

Esma supported by friends and family have been raising funds to help pay for further treatment.

A recent bowling night at the Dunes in South Shields has helped boost the £16,000 total so far raised.

Other events include coffee mornings, walks, beauty sessions and gym days.

To follow Esma’s journey or information on forthcoming fundraising events visit Esma’s Journey on Facebook.