Kate Winslet helps Lancashire mum with cancer battle

Kate Winslet who has thrown her support behind a campaign to raise funds to send a young mother to Germany for cancer treatment.
Kate Winslet who has thrown her support behind a campaign to raise funds to send a young mother to Germany for cancer treatment.
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Actress Kate Winslet has thrown her support behind a campaign to raise funds to send a young mother to Germany for cancer treatment.

Gemma Nuttall refused treatment to save her daughter Penelope's life after being diagnosed with cancer when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

Ms Nuttall, 28, is now battling brain and lung tumours that have spread from her original ovarian cancer.

Her mother, Helen Sproates, is trying to raise £300,000 to send her to Germany for a second round of immunotherapy treatment, which is not available in the UK but which has proven to shrink and eradicate tumours in patients with other types of cancer.

Winslet has been supporting the family financially but has launched an appeal on Ms Nuttall's GoFundMe page to raise further funds.

Fellow actor Edward Norton has also tweeted the campaign page praising Winslet's "empathy and generosity".

In the message posted on the GoFundMe page, Winslet said: "Gemma needs further urgent specialist cancer treatment in Germany. Without it, she will die.

"I have been in communication with Gemma and her lovely mum Helen, for a while now.

"And we are all so thrilled that we were able to send Gemma off to the Hallwang (clinic) for her first round of treatment. I will continue to assist with her costs, but we do still badly need your donations.

"Join me in supporting this 28-year-old mum! Let's truly do our best to keep her alive for her three-year-old daughter Penelope, who loves and needs her mummy so much.

"We might be able to save her life with these desperately needed funds for this essential treatment.

"So spread the word out there! Let's all tell as many people as we know, and please keep the words of support coming and the incredibly generous donations coming.

"Everyone deserves the best chance at life, let's all try to help Gemma and Penelope have theirs!"

Ms Nuttall, from Rossendale, Lancashire, was originally diagnosed with ovarian cancer after doctors spotted what they thought was a cyst on her 12-week pregnancy scan.

The young woman refused an abortion and continued with her pregnancy, delivering Penelope at 36 weeks.

Gemma's mother, Mrs Sproates said: "Kate's support for Gemma, Penelope and the family has been incredible.

"Watching my daughter go through this terrible illness breaks my heart every day, we desperately need to get this treatment for her in Germany that can potentially save her life.

"It's getting the point of being now or never as time is running out and every penny you donate today gives Gemma the chance of another tomorrow "

Mrs Sproates said that if the treatment does not work, she will organise a "bucket list" for her daughter and Penelope "to make as many memories as we can".

The fundraising page can be found at: www.gofundme.com/teamgemma