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Community & Business

4 November, 2020

Former Ravenshoe business owner in fight of her life

Hayley Buchanan, an ex-Ravenshoe resident and business owner is currently fighting for her life in Thailand against an aggressive and rare cancer

By Rhys Thomas

Former Ravenshoe resident Hayley Buchanan is currently overseas receiving treatment for cancer to save her life.

HAYLEY Buchanan has had quite the life since leaving Ravenshoe in 2018, this includes an unfortunate cancer diagnosis and a journey overseas in an attempt to extend her life. 

Originally from Melbourne the 39-year old mother moved to the Tablelands region in 2010 where she settled in Kuranda. 

It was after moving to Nim- bin that Hayley became involved with the food lovers club which eventually led her to move to Ravenshoe and open her own community shop/café, the Octopi Garden. 

“I have so many fond memories, the bio dynamics meets, my time at Silvervalley on the wild, soaking in the hot springs and the Octopi Garden and all the joy it brought,” Hayley said. 

“I conceived my daughter and birthed her at Atherton Hospital, I lived in the region for 10 years and eight of those were in Ravenshoe. 

“Ravenshoe was my home I loved it, so many memories and I never thought I’d leave.” 

After a family crisis forced her to move back to Melbourne in 2018, Hayley was living with her family in relative bliss until a shock diagnosis. 

In February of 2020, Hayley was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumours (DSRCT), a rare cancer that has only been reported 200-400 times worldwide with a 15 per- cent five-year survival rate.

After being denied palliative care in Australia due to the extent of her metastasis Hayley saw no other choice but to seek help outside of Australia. 

After a tumultuous journey trying to get out of Australia in the midst of COVID, Hayley finally succeeded, arriving as the first medical tourist permitted into Thailand on July 19. 

Now in week 11 of her treatment at the Verita Life Clinic Hayley has had a 30-50 percent reduction in tumour bulk with some lesions and tumours dissolving completely. 

“Knowing how aggressive this cancer can be the plan is that until I’m either cancer-free or until surgery is possible, I need to stay here and continue treatment,” Hayley said. 

“The combination of treatments at the clinic work synergistically targeting the fast dividing cancer cells and also the slow dividing cancer stem cells. 

“Treatment also supports the immune system to function optimally with minimal to no long term side effects.” 

To date Hayley’s treatments in Thailand and Australia have amounted to $150,000 and is set to increase if she continues treatment. 

“I’m currently in Thailand still having intensive treatment whilst considering next options, one of those being debulking surgery,” she said. 

“I’m still waiting to hear from a surgeon in Australia to see if I’m eligible for this and to return to Australia. 

“If not I’ll need to stay here longer however I don’t have the funds for this currently.” 

To keep her treatment and hopes alive a GoFundMe campaign was started by Hayley’s sister to support her journey and treatment costs. 

If you would like to support Hayley and get her home to her daughter you can donate below

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