“Mike’s latest biopsy has come back all clear. We are absolutely over the moon and enjoying every moment together.”
Kate and Mike Brandon, the Bristol couple whose GoFundMe appeal raised over £450,000 for, ‘last-hope’, T-Cell therapy abroad are delighted to announce plans to help other patients and their families have some financial support once T-Cell Therapy is available in the UK.
It comes just days after the family received the wonderful news that 32-year-old, Mike’s latest biopsy results have come back all clear for the second time since he began treatment after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Kate Brandon (Mike’s wife) said, “We are absolutely over the moon and enjoying every moment together. We have more tests ahead but, right now, we couldn’t be happier.
“Prior to starting the trial, Mike’s bone marrow was made up of 90% leukemia cells and he was given weeks to live but thanks to the cutting edge CAR T-cell therapy he received in the US he is now cancer free.
“This is why we have started this new campaign called #Donate4TCells to fundraise for Bristol hospital charity, Above & Beyond. It’s designed to help those like Mike who are facing a terminal diagnosis and have no other hope.
“There is no doubt that CAR T-Cell therapy is one of the most exciting developments in the fight against cancer in years. The treatment is, quite obviously, so incredibly effective that we hope one day soon it will be available to others in the UK.
“It works by genetically modified T-cells harnessing the body’s own immune system, using it to recognise and fight leukaemic cells in the body. The treatment has shown extraordinary results in the USA, particularly when treating Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) – as we were lucky enough to experience first-hand!
“The therapy, although life-saving, can be completely brutal in its effects on the body. The battle is long, terrifying and the financial and emotional burden on families is heavy and this is why we have set up this new GoFundMe campaign. We think it’s essential to have a fund ready for patients and their families, to help support them through the rollercoaster that will lie ahead of them.
“After the amazing success of the #Donate4Mike GoFundMe campaign we were so humbled by the incredible generosity of family, friends and strangers alike that we decided, now Mike is on the road to recovery, that we wanted to give something back.
“All the funds from the appeal will be donated to ‘Above & Beyond’ a Bristol charity close to our hearts that has quite literally gone ‘Above and Beyond’ what the NHS alone is able to provide. The funds raised will help support families whose loved ones are going through T-Cell Therapy like Mike. Our fund will help support families with their accommodation and travel expenses and allow them to focus their attention on their nearest and dearest at this difficult time.”
“As well as the new GoFundMe appeal we will also be hosting a very special fundraising event called Kate + Mikes T(ea) Cell Party on Saturday November 19th in Bristol. This will be held at Penny Brohn UK in Bristol, a wonderful organisation that supports cancer care.
Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO said, “On behalf of the GoFundMe community, we are delighted to hear that Mike is back in the UK and making such good progress. Kate’s campaign to save her husband’s life has been truly inspiring, and we hope this new campaign to help other cancer patients facing a similar terminal diagnosis will receive as much support.”
Sarah Talbot-Williams, CEO of charity Above & Beyond, added: “To see Kate and Mike doing so well is absolutely fantastic and we couldn’t be happier to have them back in Bristol. It’s often the little things that make the biggest difference to patient experience, and that’s exactly what Kate and Mike’s new #Donate4TCells fund will do; take away the everyday worries so patients and families can concentrate on their treatment and spending precious time with their loved ones.”
After being told that there were no medical options left available in the UK, Kate Brandon, 33, from Bristol had just two weeks to raise £400K so her husband Mike could fly to the US and participate in a clinical trial using his own T cells at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center.
The GoFundMe appeal touched the heart of the nation, became an instant online sensation and the life-saving, six-figure, sum was raised in a matter of days.
In fact, the campaign was such a success that it became the largest ever GoFundMe campaign ever in the United Kingdom at the time. Exceeding the £330,125 that was previously raised for pensioner Alan Barnes to buy his house and has only recently been overtaken by Jo Cox’s Fund which has so far raised in excess of 1.5 million.
To date, #Donate4Mike has raised an incredible £453,404 in five months, from over 22,806 individual donors.
To support Kate & Mike’s new appeal, #Donate4TCells please visit
For further press information, please contact:
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8925
Notes to Editors
- GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/donate4tcells
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/shake4mike/
- Twitter: @Donate4Mike
- Hashtag: #Donate4TCells
About CAR T-Cell Therapy:
The CAR T Cells Trial uses genetically modified T cells to treat patients with B cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and other B cell malignancies including Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which is what Mike suffers from.
Some of a patient’s own immune cells (T cells) are removed from the blood and genetically modified in a laboratory to potentially target and kill their own cancer cells. The modified cells are then grown in the laboratory and re-infused into patients.
About the ‘Above & Beyond’ Charity
Above & Beyond is a Bristol charity that raises funds for nine of the city centre hospital sites within the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, including Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre where Mike was treated.
The charity’s mission is to make a real difference to patients, their families and the staff who treat them. They fundraise to provide world-class facilities, purchase state of the art equipment, fund innovative research, support staff training and create welcoming hospital environments for patients from Bristol and the South West. Each year they raise around £3 million for projects that go above and beyond what the NHS can provide.
Facebook: Above & Beyond Charity
GoFundMe was launched on 10 May 2010 and has quickly become the world’s most popular fundraising website for personal causes and life events, raising £1 billion since launch!
GoFundMe provides an ideal platform for people to organise their own campaign to raise money and invite those in their community to support their fundraising. People can use GoFundMe to raise money for themselves, a friend or loved one during life’s important moments. They can also share their campaign with my built-in connections via Facebook, Twitter or email.
People can use GoFundMe for things like medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programmes, youth sports, funerals & memorials – even animals and pets.
For more information, or to set up a fundraising page, visit www.gofundme.com or follow GoFundMe on Twitter or Facebook.