In February 2012, Kezia was diagnosed with a germ cell tumour, a rare type of tumour that develops from reproductive cells. Kezia, now 16, had chemotherapy and three major operations, which included surgery on one of her ovaries and her liver.
“During my treatment I had five operations including three major ones. But the hardest part for me was having chemotherapy where I lost all my hair. Four years on, I'm doing amazingly! All my hair has grown back and I'm back at school, although I do still have check-ups. I couldn't have got this far without my amazing friends and my family who have been through just as much as me!”
MEET PROFESSOR DEAN
Professor Dean Fennell is one of our Stand Up To Cancer researchers. His team at the University of Leicester work on lung cancers, particularly mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. Dean is leading an ambitious clinical trial that could weaken mesothelioma cells, making them easier to treat. Mesothelioma cells are hard to beat because they gorge on molecules called growth factors, helping them become stronger and more resistant to treatments.
Dean’s idea is to use a ‘smart molecule’ that has been designed to block these growth factors from reaching the mesothelioma cells. He hopes that if the mesothelioma cells can’t access these growth factors, they could be robbed of their super strength and normal treatments could be more effective.