Help Dawn fund her treatment overseas!

For: Dawn Watts
York, England, United Kingdom
Organizer: Stuart Watts
Help Dawn fund her treatment overseas! (Dawn Watts)
of £20,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 225 donors

The Story


Many of you will know Dawn Watts and the struggle she has faced over the last 4 and a half years. Recently she has faced an even bigger challenge as the cancer she has, has started to change and not respond to the treatment being prescribed by our Oncologists and the NHS team in York. It is now spreading even further.

Dawn has had to make some difficult choices around her quality of life versus success of the treatment being proposed. We have continuously sought alternative treatments and have taken the decision to look for help outside the UK at a specialist centre. We will be looking to meet shortly with the Oncology team at the overseas centre. 

This means we will need to arrange travel to and from the UK, and to the centre, based in Spain, in the coming weeks. Once we have a plan we will also then need to agree what any proposed treatment looks like and how soon this can start. The costs will not be insignificant and as yet we do not know what these will be, our goal of £15,000 is a starting point.

This is where we would like to seek your help. If you are able to help with these costs then I would ask that you:

  • Make a donation to this Crowd Funding page
  • Make a payment direct to Dawn Watts via her PayPal account at: [email protected]
  • Arrange a fundraising event
  • Share this message with your friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

Dawn herself has helped raise over £32,500 for charity since being diagnosed and we have further fundraising events planned. I hope we can help her now.

Thank you very much in advance. Let’s help fight this together.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 9, 2018

Posted on February 9, 2018


It’s been a very challenging few weeks with Dawn being in York Hospital with what started out as a high temperature. Whilst there her back pain escalated and meant that the Pain Management Team had to be involved immediately. This meant fitting an epidural. This provided immediate relief but was only a temporary solution.

The next week saw an intrathecal epidural catheter fitted in a 6 hour procedure under local anaesthetic. This should have been 1.5 hours but proved particularly difficult and was very painful for Dawn. After a few days it was apparent that this wasn’t giving the pain relief that was required and Dawn was in the same position as before. It transpires that some of this is exacerbated by the steroids that are included with the chemotherapy drug she is receiving. Another emergency epidural helped and a date has now been set for late February to have another attempt to fit an intrathecal epidural catheter. With this is situ Dawn will be able to leave hospital.

Whilst in hospital Dawn has had a really rough time, multiple ward changes, three trips to theatre, has had to have a blood transfusion as she was identified as being anaemic, and in the last week has also contracted a respiratory infection which has now quarantined her to her room. Unfortunately, all of this has meant the suspension of her chemotherapy.

Fingers crossed that we can find a solution to the pain and get the cancer treatment started again and the solutions we’d looked into.

Posted on January 16, 2018


Posted on January 16, 2018

2018 is proving to be a very challenging year for Dawn and I.

There are already a lot of alterations in just the last few weeks to support Dawn’s changing condition. In addition to the Mobility Scooter, Wheelchair, Stroller, and Seats we have now added a Stairflift and Hospital Bed with Inflatable Mattress. Work to adapt the garage in anticipation that Dawn will not be able to get upstairs is in progress, and we have plans in mind for other alterations downstairs. Although all these can help in the short term they are already proving to be of little help as Dawn’s condition quickly changes.

The Cauda Equina, which is not related to her Cancer, is proving to be far worse than we imagined in that we expected Dawn to eventually lose the use of her legs but did not anticipate the pain that would come with this as nerves are compressed in her spine. This pain is unimaginable and for me I can only liken it to having to stand by and watch someone being tortured as I am left powerless to do anything. Any simple movement causes Dawn unbelievable pain shooting down her back and legs and has brought tears to her eyes. The number of cases in the country are so few that we do not have any reference material as to what the future holds.

Meetings with the relevant consultants have Dawn using a cocktail of drugs to help manage this but so far these are not even touching it as it’s nerve pain and Morphine/Opiates have no effect on this. Options seem to be an epidural anaesthesia to completely numb the area. At the moment anything that would give Dawn some relief is welcomed and we will be looking to take forward these solutions over the coming weeks.

In relation to the cancer, Dawn’s weekly chemotherapy continues and this feels like a walk in the park when compared to the Cauda Equina.

The clots on Dawns lung remain and restrict her ability to fly. As such Spain is on hold. In any event we need to get on top of her back pain.

Posted on December 10, 2017

Posted on December 10, 2017


Following the devastating news that the neurosurgeons could not help Dawn any further with her spine issues, we’ve returned home to consider the future and our next steps.

The priority now needs to be tackling the cancer whilst ensuring she is comfortable and safe at home.
To this end the chemotherapy started again last Friday. This will continue into the New Year and she will be scanned again at that time to see what effect it is having. We’ve asked the question if she can also fly again soon so we can consider what options Spain may have for us again.

Next is to adapt our home to be ready for when Dawn is unable to use the stairs (currently she can only manage to go up and down once a day and that is exhausting in itself). We’ve started to look at plans to convert our integral garage into a downstairs bedroom, with wet room and hoists etc. This will mean a lot of changes for us and a challenge for Dawn as she loses a lot of her independence.

Dawn is an absolute trooper. We asked what her prognosis is and we are possibly looking at 12 months. That being said we were also told that the life expectancy for Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, after diagnosis, is 18-24 months. Dawn first had her symptoms 5 years ago.

Smiling, laughing and a positive outlook must go a long way to helping improve things. I’m grateful for every day we share.

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