Terminally ill mum, 27, trolled for ‘looking too good to have cancer’
A wedded mother-of-three with cancer has revealed appalling insults from strangers who believe she looks ‘too nice’ to be sick. Illness that is terminal.
Jemma McGowan was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in February 2021 and has been given a life expectancy of just May 2022. However, after recording her journey on Instagram, the 27-year-old has faced abuse from callous strangers who accuse her of “faking it.”
Jemma, from Omagh, Northern Ireland, claims she is unconcerned about the abuse because she is frantically attempting to extend her life. She has three children, Sadie, five, Louis, two, and Betty, one, and she wants to see them grow up for as long as she can.
She is frequently informed that she is faking cancer. Strangers keep telling her that she doesn’t have terminal cancer since she does not appear sick.
Jemma, 22, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016, when six weeks pregnant with her second child with her now-40-year-old husband Clive, whom she married in 2018. She was terrified, so she underwent surgery in the hospital to have it eliminated, and physicians assured her that it would not return. Jemma didn’t have any more symptoms for the following four years. Jemma noticed a tumour on her body in January 2021, while she was 36 weeks pregnant with her third kid.
She discussed it with her midwife and was sent for an MRI scan and brought to the hospital for steroid therapy to prepare her baby for an early scheduled C section, which occurred just weeks later. Jemma was notified just 24 hours after giving birth that her cancer had reappeared, this time with a tumour in her left lung and several tumours in her pelvic and pubic bones.
Jemma explained that she began chemotherapy when Betty was only 14 days old, however she was not willing to surrender and tell her kids that she was going to die. She knew right then that she was planning to battle this. Jemma underwent three rounds of two different forms of chemotherapy in Belfast, which resulted in her hair falling out and vomiting.
The oncology team then detected three new tumours forming in Jemma’s body in May 2021, and they stated that because the chemo wasn’t working, they wouldn’t be able to continue with her therapy. They told her to “get her affairs in order,” and gave her only 3-15 months to live.
Jemma, however, denied the diagnosis because she wanted to be a mummy to her kids for as long as possible. She explained that chemotherapy got her quite unwell. It almost killed her twice. And her tumours were increasing at the time when physicians warned it was immoral to continue. Ultimately, they provided five rounds of pain management radiation, yet the side effects included never having sex again, requiring a bladder bag, a bile bag, and major surgery.
Jemma began looking into alternative and holistic cancer therapies. She also chose to share her experience on Instagram. She also discovered a contentious clinic in Mexico that provided alternative cancer therapy, but the trip would cost the pair £90,000. Jemma, who was operating a used vehicle business, set up a GoFundMe page to assist pay treatments. Family, friends, and strangers came together to raise more than £170,000 to date. It was enough to convince Jemma to arrange the vacation.
Jemma expressed that she and her husband headed over to Mexico in June 2021, and the physicians there put her up with a plan that, in her situation, is entirely natural vitamins. She takes a lot of repurposed meds and treatments that haven’t been licensed or available in this country because they haven’t been passed by the FDA.
Every six months, she gets medicine from Mexico, and then every eight weeks, she gets medication from London. Every month, it costs her around £2,500. Fundraising is actually a lifeline for many people. She recently returned from her second trip to Mexico, and it gave her a lift and encouraged her to stay on pace. She doesn’t see her dying in May. Her diet is also quite stringent; she does not consume sugar, white carbohydrates, cow’s dairy, or animal protein. She does a lot of juicing and fasting.
Jemma now believes she is on the correct track and is certain that she can “cure herself” and live a longer life. But she isn’t denying the reality. Jemma breaks down in tears as she explains she’s making memory boxes for her 3 kids in a new documentary with Stacey Dooley called Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, which airs on W on April 19. She has also purchased future presents for them to open on significant occasions such as their 18th birthdays, clearing their driving tests, and their wedding days.
Jemma, with her cheerful attitude, feels as if she has been given a gift. “None of us knows what tomorrow will bring.” “I feel like I’ve been given something unique since I know my days are numbered,” she explained. “I once heard that you may go out tomorrow and be murdered in a vehicle accident.” I have something special; I know our fate, so I may enjoy what time I have left and prepare.”