Carluke rallies around Joan’s battle to live

editorial image

They say it’s only in times of trouble that you find out who your real friends are.

Well, after Joan Purdie of Carluke was given the devastating news that she was suffering from a rare form of cancer, she discovered a whole TOWN full of true pals.

And their friendship and support is vitally needed; her type of cancer is so expensive to battle, the NHS won’t pay the £300,000 it will cost to give her the course of treatment needed to give the highly popular 53-year-old a chance of survival.

Meeting that massive bill hasn’t daunted the people of Carluke and surrounding area. At an event two weeks ago an amazing £62,000 was raised for her treatment in a single night!

That event, a barn dance with a massive raffle and other fundraising features, was hosted by Purdie family friend George Babes, who revealed why the campaign is attracting such huge support.

He said: “Folk would do anything for Joan because, quite simply, Joan would do anything for them if the tables were turned. She is one of the kindest people you could ever hope to meet, an absolute gem of a woman. When people found out she needed this treatment they came forward to help in their droves. We just want to say the very deepest and sincere ‘thank you’ to all who supported the event, and which will no doubt continue during forthcoming fundraising. They have been wonderful and it reflects the respect and love they have for Joan. She simply deserves this kind of support.”

The wife of well-known stock car veteran Kenny Purdie and daughter-in-law of Photoflash coaches boss Jim, Joan has already undergone failed conventional cancer treatment and the focus is now on a very new and very expensive drug.

A spokesman for the fundraising campaign said: “It is with a heavy heart that we say that, without treatment, Joan’s time with her family and friends may well be very limited as chemotherapy has not been successful.

“Her family were elated to discover a drug called Pembrolizumab that would increase Joan’s chances of survival from 2-3 per cent to an amazing 44 per cent. The drug is not freely available on the NHS and we were optimistic that Joan might have been the first person in the UK to be approved for this treatment, but hopes were dashed when this was vetoed due to the high cost of the treatment. Pembrolizumab costs £9,000 per fortnightly treatment. It is hoped that this drug will become available on the NHS in the next 12 months or so and, understandably, the Purdie family wish to give Joan the best chance of being around to be able to receive this vital treatment via the NHS.”

And so, it seems, do hundreds of others.