Woman Who Fought Cancer Five Times gifted painting by Sir Billy Connolly

A woman who has battled cancer five times has been stunned to be offered a painting by Sir Billy Connolly – which she plans to sell to pay for her treatment.

Stace O’Brien, 38, was first diagnosed in 2012 but has Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a genetic condition that increases her risk of developing cancer.

She described her treatment as ‘non-stop’ and said the disease made her feel ‘100 years old’, after doctors found cancer in her bones, breasts, lymph nodes and a leg sarcoma.

Stace hopes to travel to London for stem cell treatment which she says could finally cure her, but it will cost around $38,000.

Sir Billy Connolly donated a limited edition hand-signed piece to help.

The painting shows a figure dressed in a yellow suit and blue shoes holding a pair of maracas, and was accompanied by a message that read “We would be happy to donate one of Billy Connolly’s hand-signed limited editions so you can sell her, to help raise money for Stace’s treatment.”

Stace, from Glasgow, said: “The treatment is reducing my cancer, there is hope.

“It’s so nice to have a painting by Sir Billy Connolly in the house he gave me.

“I hung it on the wall earlier so I can enjoy it until it sells out, it’s so amazing.

“I have to put it up for auction soon so I can get a treatment that can work and be painless.

“It will cost you [$38,000] but would mean the world to me because I’m so sick now that I just want to be able to do the things I used to do.

“I’m really struggling with intense pain, I’m in agony.

“I feel so broken. I don’t know anyone else who’s been a five-time cancer survivor, but I hope I will.”

A woman who has battled cancer five times has been stunned to be offered a painting by Sir Billy Connolly – which she plans to sell to pay for her treatment.
Newsquest Glasgow Herald/Zenger

Stace was first diagnosed with bone cancer osteosarcoma after suffering searing pain in her hip which turned out to be a tumor in January 2012.

She underwent grueling chemotherapy and thought she was in remission for five years before finding a breast lump in February 2019.

She also underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to combat the disease, but tragedy struck again in December 2019 when doctors discovered lymph node cancer.

Stace was later diagnosed with sarcoma in her leg in February 2021 and underwent four surgeries to fix it.

Then last October she was diagnosed for the fifth time, as doctors found her breast cancer had spread to her chest wall, behind her heart and liver.

Earlier this year, doctors found more cancer in her bones, but Stace is determined to keep fighting.

Luckily, her cancer is now starting to shrink as she undergoes treatment with exemestane, zoladex and phesgo on the NHS.

But the aggressive treatment has left her in excruciating pain and tears every day, leaving her desperate to get the dendritic stem cell therapy that could target her illnesses ‘without pain’.

Dendritic cells help the immune system recognize and attack abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.

To make the vaccine, scientists grow dendritic cells alongside cancer cells in the lab.

The vaccine then stimulates the immune system to attack the cancer.

It comes after previous attempts to cure her condition left her infertile, temporarily blind, numb in her limbs and having trouble swallowing.

Stace said: “I’m glad the new medicine is helping, but my bones and joints hurt so badly that I cry almost every day.

“It’s so painful I’m really not good with it even though I got my results and the cancer is going down which is a miracle.

“I’m even up every night taking painkillers at 3am, but it’s only getting worse.

“I have been totally devastated by the treatments for my cancer, the effects of the treatment can start to jeopardize my life so badly.

“In fact, I desperately need the doctors to stop this pain, whatever it takes.”

Generous donors have so far raised $10,000 of a goal of $38,000.

“I’m so touched by my friends who do all of this and want me to live.

“If we get more money from fundraising, I will use it to start a support center to help newly diagnosed young women learn to cope.

“I really miss a place like this and think there is a real need.”

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-support-oor-stace?qid=2f41f8686f6e2a040f…

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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