A Canadian woman is undergoing treatment in Mexico after a cancer center in Canada said there was nothing more they could do for her.
From her hospital bed in Mexico where she is fighting aggressive cancer, Hamiltonian and former CHCH TV weather reporter Nicola Jones struggles to get out one message she wants people to hear.
“I want to tell the entire community just how much I love them, how much I appreciate their kindness,” she says through tears during a phone interview Thursday. “I plan to pay them back in every way I can.”
Jones was flown by air ambulance Monday night to the Mexican integrated care hospital. She prefers not to name the hospital or give its location.
“It is the only hospital that is able to treat me in my late-stage condition,” she says.
Doctors there started treating her Tuesday morning and have told her the only realistic option is to undergo high-risk surgery to remove her tumour, but they are trying to build up her strength first, she said.
Jones, 41, went there after Juravinski Cancer Centre doctors told her there was nothing more they could do to try to save her from a tumour that refuses to yield to aggressive chemotherapy and continues to grow, she said.
In Mexico, Jones feels she’s in the right place for now.
“I’ve never seen this level of care in my life,” she says.
Her mother, Cindy Jones of Dundas, is with her.
Jones also feels she is doing the right thing by trying everything possible to stay alive.
“I have a little boy I want to live for,” she says, weeping.
Her son, 9, is being cared for by his dad and grandmother in Hamilton.
The ambulance cost of $30,000 to $50,000 was paid for by friends and family who have maxed out their credit cards, she says.
Jones, too, is maxing out her credit cards and selling her house to cover costs.
Her friends in Hamilton have organized a fundraiser Oct. 28 to help raise $80,000.
Asked about it, Jones says she finds the idea of a fundraiser difficult to accept.
“I didn’t want them to do it. It’s very hard for me to take money from other people because I am a very proud person. I have never wanted to be a charity.”
But when her ex-husband Chris Beattie told her people were asking daily how they can help, she agreed to it.
“I was shocked by the response, more than the money (goal) because it is such a show of love. … They wanted to make sure I could afford to get down here.”
Jones doesn’t yet know her hospital costs but says a German hospital she was originally slated to go to cost 8,000 Euros (about $11,500) a week. The one in Mexico is half that cost.
Jones says she initially wanted to go to Germany because the hospital there offers Nobel Prize-winning treatments and has a 97 per cent success rate.
But it provides outpatient services only and so officials there advised her she’d be better off in Mexico, with 24-hour hospital care.
FUNDRAISER FOR NICOLA JONES
Tues. Oct. 28, 5 to 9 p.m.
Liuna Station, 360 James St. N. Tickets: $70.
See facebook.com/teamnicolajones or teamnicolajones.eventbrite.ca.
905-526-3392 | @CarmatTheSpec
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