A mother-of-two who suffers from hepatitis C has been told her trial drug test can be completed as she is responding to the treatment.
Lesley Jenkins, of Wibsey, Bradford, contracted the life-threatening illness when she had a blood transfusion following the birth of her son in 1985.
She was diagnosed with the illness in 2007 and following standard chemotherapy she embarked on a trial for the drug Telaprevir in February. Now she has been told the trial will continue until January – potentially adding years to her life.
Mrs Jenkins, 49, still does not know whether she has been given the drug or standard chemotherapy, in this case used as a placebo, but she was told if she was not responding in a positive way to either she would have been taken off the trial.
She said: “They said if I had not responded to it then they would have stopped it, but also if I had been a rapid responder and cleared early they also would have stopped it.
“So there was a piece of me which did want it to stop early because I had cleared because I am getting exhausted, but if they had stopped it because I’m not responding I would have been devastated.”
Mrs Jenkins campaigns for compensation for people who contracted hepatitis C through transfusions in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Since starting the trial she has travelled to St Mary’s Hospital, London, every month for check-ups, but has now been told she can go to St James’s Hospital, Leeds, next month for a break.
Mrs Jenkins is also trying to raise money for the Hepatitis C Trust, with the help of her friend Janet Bebb who is running the Great North Run for the tenth consecutive time.
Janet will tackle the gruelling half-marathon in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Sunday, September 20, in the hope of raising at least £1,000 for the trust.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/lesleyjenkins
For more information on the illness go to hepctrust.org.uk or call the helpline on 0845 2234424.