The Mavis Nye Foundation was created to inspire victims of mesothelioma an Asbestos-related cancer.
It really began in the 1950`s when aged 15 she met Ray who was to become her lifelong partner.
He was an apprentice in the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham. They would meet during lunch breaks and later in the day. He would have on his clothes the fine invisible dust of asbestos. No one at that time warned them that this would in later life become a major issue. After their first year together Ray was called up for National Service. The 2 years separation was no barrier to asbestos contamination because unwittingly she was already exposed.
On Rays demob they got married and he returned to his trade in the shipyard. Together over the years that followed they raised a family and lived a
normal life together.
It was 49 years later that the devastating consequences’ of their first meeting would now return. In 2009 Mavis was suddenly aware that her breathing was laboured and this quickly resulted during a short walk to the shop across the road that she was now unable to breath. An urgent appointment with our GP was made and within hours she was admitted into Hospital. & 7 ltrs of Fluid were drained from her lung.
After weeks of tests and Biopsies, she was given the news that she had mesothelioma. It was explained that it was a Terminal Cancer. That there was no cure and no treatment available. The prognosis was a life expectancy of about 3 months, and that she was advised to return home and put her affairs in order.
The following 4 years were spent on Chemotherapy and failed Drug trials. A further year followed the oncologist report that the chemo was no longer working and that there was nothing more that could be done for her.
Although she had been in treatment she had not sat idle ,she decided early on that something needed to be done. And so she began to set about searching for answers. She found a small group of like minded victims on social media and joined them. It was headed by Debbie Brewer. She and Mavis became good friends, but sadly Debbie succumbed to this insidious disease leaving Mavis to carry the flag. She set to with a vigour that was unstoppable . She expanded these small groups humble beginnings and created various groups on social media and soon the Mesowarriors as they had become known was now a global name. It had gained a reputation for support and advice. Today her work is internationally recognised. She is available on a personal level to support and encourage victims of mesothelioma. She is supported by many influential people; she is in demand for presentations to spread the word. She talks with Lords, Ladies, Professors, Oncologists and Doctors, and MP`s. She has spoken on occasions in the House of Commons in the company of distinguished speakers. She was awarded a BCA for her work. She is an NHS patient rep ,and sits on various committees and support groups . Her energy and enthusiasm knows no bounds. She has been given an Honorary Dr. Degree by East Kent University.
The following year from the last result that she has no hope of treatment was spent on these campaigns, during which she was advised by Professor Dean Fennell that a small Drugs trial was about to start in the Royal Marsden That was for mesothelioma. The weeks that followed were productive in that she was referred for interview for assessment. Some weeks later she received news that she had been accepted on a trial of just 3 people. The MK3475 trial Later to be known as the Keytruda trial. It was a comprehensive trial. Demanding treatment every 14 days for up to 2 years depending on response. All of which Mavis grasped with both hands. She was slowly dying so what had she to loose. This trial was to prove a miracle. Shrinkage of the tumours began within a few treatments.
These improvements continued right through the 2 years culminating in the result that a complete response was achieved. In laymen’s terms that means remission. They were quick to point out its not a cure because it could return at any time. Sadly the other 2 people on this trial did not survive. But to date June 2017 she has had a year of no treatment and no progression of the cancer. She is still monitored regularly and she hopes this will continue. At the moment taking into account the damage the disease and chemotherapy has done to her she is active, and is living a better quality of life than the previous 7 years. She still has issues, her body has been irreparably damaged, unseen outside in most cases but does she moan, does she complain. NO Way . She continues to run her support groups and show the way.