A mum of two who struggled with exhaustion has been given the devastating news she has just months to live after discovering she was actually suffering from an aggressive form of cancer.
Chanelle Moles, from the Perth suburb of Fremantle, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in October 2020 shortly after the birth of her second child.
The 34-year-old was misdiagnosed with low iron, post-natal depression and hormone imbalance after experiencing months of fatigue – but she put her symptom down to juggling her two kids – five-year-old Marlon, and Éabha, aged two.
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However, she knew something wasn’t right when she started struggling to get out of bed for three days after a short walk in August 2020.
By the time she pushed doctors for further scans, the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.
Earlier this year, she was given a prognosis of just six to 18 months to live.
‘I wish it was all just a dream’
“Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought that within five years of becoming a mummy I would be told I don’t have long to live,” Chanelle said.
“Every day I wake up, I wish I could just ‘wake up’ from this nightmare and see that it was all just a dream.
“Unfortunately it is not, this is my reality and the reality for my beautiful children and husband.
“I have a chance at being able to be here to see my children grow up, to live past 34 years.
“I don’t want to leave them, not yet. I love life and I am doing everything I possibly can to fight for mine.”
Due to the aggressive nature of the cancer, the mum underwent 13 months of chemotherapy, countless major surgeries and treatments.
In July 2021, she was told her body was no longer responding to chemotherapy.
A month later, Chanelle tried CyberKnife, a radiation therapy device, to get rid of the spots on her liver.
Her cancer was in remission after successful treatment.
But just four days before Christmas last year, further scans found the cancer had spread to her peritoneal cavity, ovaries and her abdominal area.
‘Our lives changed forever’
In January, a surgeon told Chanelle he would be able to remove all the cancer – leaving her with a “clean slate”.
But after waking up from a 16-hour surgery, she was told the doctor was unable to remove all the cancer.
“Our lives changed forever on October 1, 2020,” her husband Graham Moles said.
“Since then she has been through countless surgeries and endured the most ravaging chemotherapy just to be given a chance to rid her body of this horrible disease and watch her kids grow.”
Chanelle has been given a glimmer of hope after she was accepted to receive “imminent” life-saving cancer treatment in Houston, US.
“She has now been told treatment options in Australia are exhausted but through her relentless refusal to lie down, we found a US clinic that specializes in treatment for her rare cancer genes,” Graham said.
‘Small price to pay for mum’s life’
However, the treatment comes at a costly price of up to $150,000.
“It’s a small price to pay for a mum’s life but a lot of money for a family who has been living off one compromised income for the last three years,” the family said.
Family, friends and strangers have rallied behind the mum to raise more than $220,000 after her husband set up a GoFundMe page.
“We are so overwhelmed by the kindness, love and support we have received,” Graham said.
“We are over to moon to announce Chanelle now has enough funds for the first three months of treatment, and we are currently organizing our flights to the US for May 12 to get started.”
‘Fight this horrible disease’
He said the total treatment time is estimated to go for six to nine months.
“Any additional funds will go towards the continuation of treatment for Chanelle,” he said.
“Anything not used for helping save Chanelle will go towards her preferred cancer charities.
“We would not have been able to dream of this without the incredible outpouring of support.
“Thanks to you we now have real hope again and have renewed strength to fight this horrible disease.”