A RALLYING call has gone out to help a terminally ill mother hit her first target in a battle to use a life-extending drug.

Cancer-stricken Jemma Peacock needs to get 100,000 signatures on an online petition to get her campaign discussed in Parliament.

After The Argus first told Mrs Peacock’s story, the fight has gained national attention, with signatures rocketing from 6,000 to 80,000.

However the 31-year-old from Storrington needs to get the final 20,000 signatures by the end of the day on March 30 for the petition to be debated.

Mrs Peacock was expecting her second child when she was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST), a rare cancer found in the digestive system. There is currently no cure for inoperable GIST but the drug regorafenib can help a patient live for considerably longer.

This gives patients more time with their families and allows research into other solutions to continue. However the drug is being removed from the Government’s Cancer Drugs Fund, making it much harder for patients to access it.

Mrs Peacock, who is married to Tony, 34, and has daughters Kacie, six, and Willow, four, has taken on the challenge of getting the decision overturned.

She said: “I’ve never been one to give up easily and I’ve thrown everything into this battle. “I think anyone in my position would do the same. Regorafenib gives me a realistic chance of seeing my little girls grow up so I have to fight for the chance to have access to it.”

The campaign has now started to snowball, with the petition getting thousands of new signatures every day.

At peak times more than 1,000 people an hour have been signing and a Twitter campaign has led to backing from well known names including singer Edwyn Collins, who tweeted a message of support.

Others have included bestselling author Irvine Welsh, former England footballer Carlton Palmer and cricket commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd.

Mrs Peacock said: “The level of warmth, kindness and support we’re receiving from strangers is overwhelming .

“I’m aware we still have a mountain to climb but I just know we can get this done. “We aren’t asking for sympathy or donations, we’d just like people to take the 30 seconds or so needed to sign the petition.

“This will give me and others in my situation the chance to live for as long as possible. “I think we all felt abandoned before the campaign took off but now we realise we aren’t alone and that soon we may just have the 100,000 voices we need to be heard.”

To sign the petition, visit www.jemmapeacock.org.


THE NHS spends about £1.3 billion annually on the provision of cancer drugs within routine commissioning.

The Cancer Drugs Fund was established as an additional funding source to this and aimed at particularly rare cancers.

It has provided an additional £200 million each year since then to enable patients to access drugs that would not otherwise have been routinely available from the NHS.

This is increasing to an estimated £340 million from April 2015.

NHS England is responsible for deciding which drugs are added or removed from the fund’s list.

Regorafenib cost £4,493 for a four-week cycle and most patients had treatment for an average of almost 23 weeks.

A panel set up to review the drug found the average cost of regorafenib combined with its clinical effectiveness, resulted in an overall assessment score which represented “insufficient value for retention within the drugs fund.