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Cancer patient Natasha Roy-Hazel

SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

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A Couva woman, diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma, is appealing to the public for assistance in raising US$300,000 for treatment after local doctors told her they could do nothing more to help her.

Natasha Roy-Hazel, 45, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma Cancer in March 2020. Her diagnosis came after she spent her life savings and almost a year of her life seeing different doctors to determine why she was in constant pain.

Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma is a rare type, aggressive type of cancer that affects the body’s extremities.

Roy-Hazel was given 16 sessions of chemotherapy in six weeks at the San Fernando General Hospital but at the end of the treatment, her tumor had grown by one centimeter. And she was left worse off than when she started after the site of her biopsy became infected.

It was then that Roy-Hazel said doctors told her they could do nothing more for her.

She has been staying at the home of her younger brother, who helps to care for her, along with her sister, Franka, her parents, and her husband.

During a visit to her brother’s home on Tuesday, Roy-Hazel’s left leg was seen bent backward at the knee. It cannot be straightened and her upper thigh is swollen and infected. She must remain on her stomach and cannot sit up or walk.

Desperate to help her after she was turned away from the hospital, her younger sister Franka started writing to hospitals abroad, trying to find one that could treat Roy-Hazel.

“I emailed five hospitals from New York to Cuba to Florida to see if anyone would be able to treat her cancer. We need her medical records from San Fernando (General Hospital) and we applied two months ago and we are still waiting,” Franka told Guardian Media on Tuesday.

Franka said the family was told they would need US$300,000 to begin the regime that could save her sister’s life.

She said they are hurt and confused by the decision of local doctors to give up on Roy-Hazel.

“I can’t understand why doctors gave up on her, she is fighting, this is a human being, this is our eldest sister and we need some sort of intervention, we need someone to assist in this pain, she is in pain constantly, 24 hours a day,” Franka said.

Roy-Hazel groaned constantly during the interview, sometimes crying out in pain.

“I have to lie down like this 24/7, every day…..I have to lie down like this,” she said through her tears as Franka tried to comfort her.

Franka set up a GoFundMe campaign for Roy-Hazel on November 5 but donations have been few and far apart.

She issued another appeal to anyone who is willing to assist her sister to contact them at 328-8486.