Joyce’s story

Joyce, who has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years is married to Yusuf a 45 year old holistic therapist born in Tunceli, Turkey.  Joyce and Yusef have been together for over 10 years, living mostly in Bodrum.

In 2013, when Joyce was working as an overseas destinations manager for Thomas Cook in Turkey, she applied to ABTA LifeLine for help with paying her husband Yusuf's medical bills.

Since 1996 Yusuf had been receiving treatment for basel cell carcinoma, the most common and treatable form of skin cancer.  He saw numerous doctors in Turkey over a 10 year period and had three procedures to remove the tumour, but each time it returned.

In 2012 Yusuf's eye was drooping badly and the couple were very concerned that the cancer was progressing.  They sought medical help from 6 different doctors in Turkey but to no avail.

In February 2013 this year, they met with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon in Glasgow who specialises in cancer around the eye area.  After tests he advised them that Yusuf needed further surgery.

Following three major operations in May, it was discovered that the tumour was deeper and more involved than expected and had travelled to Yusuf's nasal cavity and bone.

The shocking news was that his eye and maxillary bone needed to be removed as the cancer was moving to his brain 'like an express train.'  The extensive and invasive surgery could only be carried out at an NHS hospital, with both an intensive care unit and a specialised head and neck team.

The surgery took place on 5 September and Yusuf is currently undergoing radiotherapy. He will be fitted with a facial prothesis in about 6 months.

The good news is that he will have a normal life expectancy if the cancer does not return.

Unfortunately, being a Turkish national Yusuf is not entitled to treatment under the NHS.

Joyce is therefore fundraising to pay for the cost of Yusuf’s treatment and continuing aftercare. Costs are estimated at £35,000 but may well be more.

ABTA LifeLine stepped in and agreed to match fund pound for pound the donations Joyce raises up to a maximum of £10,000.

If you would like to help Joyce and support her fundraising efforts, you can do so here.