Haywards Heath couple aim to raise £250,000 for cancer treatment after woman’s brain tumour returns

A couple from Haywards Heath are hoping to raise £250,000 for pioneering cancer treatment after a woman’s brain tumour returned after ten years.

Hannah Cohen, 37, of Lyoth Lane, underwent successful treatment for her anaplastic astrocytoma in the USA in 2011.

She then remained cancer-free for a decade but suffered a major seizure in November last year.

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Her husband Pete, 51, who works as a motivational coach, said that a recent MRI revealed a reoccurrence of the tumour.

Pete and Hannah Cohen are trying to raise £250,000 for pioneering treatment to fight Hannah's brain tumour.

“Its still quite surreal to be honest,” said Hannah, who owns the Sussex quilting business The Bespoke Quilter.

“I only found out two weeks ago that I’d have to go on chemo and things like that.”

But Hannah said she is ‘really hopeful’ that whatever new treatment she embarks on after the latest fundraising will be effective.

Pete said that he and Hannah met in 2010 and that she had her first big seizure after they had been together for a year.

Hannah Cohen (left) and Jenny Jackson.

She was diagnosed with a Grade III brain tumour where the life expectancy is normally around 18 months, said Pete.

He said the radiotherapy was not effective, so they looked for alternatives, finding a pioneering treatment in America, which they had to raise £200,000 for because it was not available on the NHS.

Hannah then made a full recovery.

“Since then she’d been cancer-free and she started a business and built her business,” said Pete.

Jenny Jackson's Beautiful Friend Heart design.

Hannah and Pete said the latest brain tumour diagnosis has been very difficult to handle.

“We’re just about to move house and now we’re trying to raise money for some pioneering treatment once again,” said Pete, adding that the same treatment is now not an option.

“But we definitely have some other options, other treatments, again outside of what the NHS would be offering us, that we would have to pay for ourselves,” he said.

Hannah and Pete are still learning about the options available to them, which might involve a treatment called ADCV, but they said whatever they try will involve ‘a considerable sum of money’.

Hannah said she is amazed and grateful that Pete’s new fundraiser has already raised over £27,000 on GoFundMe.

Pete said: “We’re very grateful for everybody’s support.

“We don’t like asking for help but we realise that people actually like to help and want to help.”

Hannah, who is undergoing chemotherapy, said her ability to do the quilting work she loves has been affected by the treatment.

But she thanked the West Sussex sewing community for being supportive, as well as her ‘wonderful friend’ Jenny Jackson for setting up her own GoFundMe campaign.

Jenny, 35, of Brighton Road, Hassocks, runs her own quilting business, Hashtagsew, and said she first met Hannah in 2018.

She said: “When I found out the news about Hannah’s tumour coming back I needed to do something to help raise money.

“Being a quilt designer, the first thing that came to my mind was to design a block.”

Jenny said her block is called Beautiful Friend Heart and said that if people donate £6 she would email them the pattern.

“I specialise in hand sewing so it’s an English paper pieced heart, which you would appliqué onto a background,” she said.

Jenny hopes that her fundraiser, which has a £5,000 target, helps raise awareness about Hannah’s condition and contributes to Pete and Hannah’s overall total.

Readers can follow Hannah’s journey on the Facebook Group Team Hannah.

To make a donation to Pete and Hannah’s fundraiser click here.

To donate to Jenny’s fundraiser click here.

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