Campaign to continue in mother’s memory

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A DETERMINED young Methilhill woman, whose late mother fought a campaign for fairer medical treatment, is to continue the crusade on her behalf.

During 2012, the Mail regularly publicised the mission by Anna Flaws, a mental health nurse from Methilhill, who had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

She wanted people in Scotland like her, with serious illnesses, to have proper NHS access to drugs available only in England.

Anna’s life was prolonged, and its quality bettered, by Herceptin, a drug she had to pay for privately with help from family and friends.

The Scottish Medical Consortium (SMC) has not approved it for treatment in this country on economic grounds, and the NHS, which follows SMC codes, has not funded it.

Anna gathered nearly 3000 signatures for her petition but, sadly, she died in July, aged 50, before it could be presented to the Scottish Parliament.

Now her daughter Julie (25) is driving the campaign forward once again.

“I want to go ahead with this, as it’s something that I feel strongly about,” Julie told the Mail.

“My mum wanted to lead her life to the fullest and I believe she did that. She did things she wanted to do, regardless of her condition.

“She was very brave in the time she was ill. I do believe her family friends were very supportive and helped her get through that time.”

Julie added: ‘’My mum’s campaign wasn’t just for her; it was on behalf of anyone in Scotland who is denied a drug to treat their illness that is freely available in England.

‘’There should not be a difference whether or not someone lives north or south of the border.‘‘

Central Fife MP Lindsay Roy backed Anna’s campaign, saying it was wrong she was denied Herceptin on the NHS.

He has now pledged to support Julie, who has also had backing from Levenmouth councillor David Graham.

Mr Roy said: ‘’’There should be no ‘national’ lottery when it comes to treating sick people and I will back Julie in any way I can as she continues her mum’s fight to have this anomaly ended once and for all.’’

Julie hopes to gather more signatures before a possible petition handover to Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil.