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Coronavirus: Athlete’s cancer treatment hopes dashed due to lockdown


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Sarah Wright

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Sarah and Adam Wright with baby Everleigh

A former Commonwealth Games athlete is unable to access a potentially life-saving drug due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarah Wright, 33, was in the British Shooting team when in 2018 she found out in the same week that she had breast cancer and was pregnant.

After many unsuccessful treatments she was accepted on to a new trial in San Francisco, America, during lockdown.

But since March, Britons have been banned from travelling to the US.

Mrs Wright’s husband Adam said “we have the money, but can’t get into the country”.


After enduring chemotherapy throughout her pregnancy, in 2019 she gave birth to a health baby girl, Everleigh.

Six weeks after she was born, Mrs Wright was told her surgery and treatment were unsuccessful and the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.

Mr Wright said: “It was horrendous.

“We went from thinking she’d beaten it, to feeling like she was being read her last rites.”

Eight months on, she has exhausted all treatments available through the NHS, including a clinical trial at Maidstone hospital.

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British Shooting

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Sarah Gray (maiden name) competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Early results from a new US drug indicates it is effective in fighting tumour cells in a short amount of time.

Mrs Wright was accepted on the trial earlier this month after a biopsy showed she has a high chance of it being effective.

Adam, 35, said his wife has the full support of her oncologist, however President Donald Trump banned Brits from travelling to the US as part of a coronavirus lock down in March.

Adam said: “We need to get passage to USA for the clinical trial, or obtain Leronlimab in the UK – but given it is not approved yet the red tape of this makes it very unlikely.

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Adam Wright

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Sarah with Adam Wright, before she became ill

“Going to San Francisco is the only chance Sarah has for more months or years to spend as a family and see our little girl grow up.

“She’s always been so strong and independent, but she’s not the mum she wants to be and it’s heartbreaking.

“Rounds and rounds of horrific chemo have left her too weak to even hold Everleigh now.

“Sarah is not getting better, and we don’t know how long she has left.”

The treatment is manufactured by Cytodyn, which have been contacted for a comment.

The trial involves blood tests taken in San Francisco, before eight-weeks worth of injections are given to participants to administer themselves.

The Wrights would only need to be in the US for a couple of days before returning home.

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Adam Wright

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Sarah and Adam Wright shortly after Everleigh was born

Ashford MP Damian Green is involved in their case, and has made contact with the American Embassy to see if any exceptions can be made to allow Sarah to travel.

He said: “If there’s any situation where you might offer a relaxation, it would be this.”

A spokesman for British Shooting said the news was “heartbreaking”.

He added: “At any other time, this would be something the Wright family could arrange without an issue, but 2020 is not like any other year.”

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