CHARITY worker Johannah Aynsley is hoping to raise £50,000 for experimental treatment to help her beat cancer.

The 41-year-old, who has a six-year-old daughter, had a first brush with cancer while pregnant at 34 with daughter Willow.

It was mistakenly diagnosed as a fibroid outside her uterus that would go away after the birth, so was never followed up.

Then, in 2018, she started to experience ‘horrible symptoms’ and was diagnosed with ‘silent killer’ ovarian cancer and told it was at stage four.

She said: “It was a tough time, but I had a lovely family that helped me through.”

She underwent a ‘massive operation to remove everything’ and 12 months of chemotherapy.

She said: “I was just shaking around the house. But we had the most beautiful lockdown with me and my daughter.

“We had a large back garden at the time and it was our little world. It was the happiest four months of my life.”

Ms Aynsley, who lives in Witney and holds senior positions in housing associations and has been an organiser of Oxford’s Cowley Road Carnival, started a form of tablet chemo seven weeks ago.

She said: “It stops it getting crazy, it slows down the progression, but my numbers are not going in the right direction.”

Now she is pinning her hopes on two experimental immunotherapies – dentritic cell therapy and GCMaf therapy – which are not available on the NHS, but can be accessed in specialist clinics in Europe. She needs to raise at least £50,000 for treatment and aftercare.

Ms Aynsley said: “It works for some people, it doesn’t work for others.

“But the jury’s out on whether my current treatment is actually doing something, so it’s really urgent that I get this treatment right now.

“If it works, I like to think I would be a pioneer for these treatments, I’m lighting the light, paving the way.”

She and Willow, who attends Witney’s Blakes School, said they had received amazing support from the school and Oxfordshire charity See Saw, which supports children, young people and families when somebody close to them is terminally ill.

The congregation at St Mary’s Cogges has also been ‘like a little family’, providing meals and babysitting.

Ms Aynsley said: “Willow seems like a jolly little soul, but I think she’s understanding now. She has suffered a lot with anxiety and that was awful.

“She helped me shave my hair and I let her pick out wigs and made her chief hat picker. For Christmas, I built her a Barbie house and I got her chemo Barbies for role play.

“I’m quite strong. I meditate and pray. I walk the dog each day and I’ve got a lot of people I can talk to.

“I have moments when an awful guttural sound comes out. What I’ve realised is that you don’t feel better after it, so it’s best not to wallow.”

Without the experimental treatments and other alternative options, she believes she has now run out of options in the UK, as conventional chemotherapy is no longer possible for her.

Ms Aynsley said: “I really want to have this treatment. I really want to be here for my daughter.

“I’ve got to try.”

To help with the cost of the treatment, see

Johannah is also in the process of organising a fund-raising festival, which is due to take place in Witney on September 25.