Just over a year ago, Ann Jenkins, whose name many people will recognise as the force behind Playa Patrol in La Herradura, was diagnosed with aggressive stage four metastatic breast cancer which has also spread to her lungs and sternum. Ann has already had a mastectomy and is undergoing chemotherapy.
However, the many friends and acquaintances that Ann and her husband Christopher, who are both Canadian, have made while living in La Herradura are determined to help her to raise funds for Dendritic Cell Therapy (DCT), which the couple believe could help to save Ann's life.
Dendritic cells can communicate with the body's T cells and help the immune system recognise and attack abnormal cells, such as cancer cells. Blood is taken from the patient to develop a bespoke DCT vaccine, which is then administered. The treatment is currently only available in Marbella and Berlin and comes at a cost. As such, Ann's friends and contacts are rallying to raise the 50,000 euros needed for the treatment.
A 'Razzle Dazzle in Pink' fundraising event and auction is scheduled for 14 October in El Gaucho restaurant in Puerto Banus. It is being organised by Sonia Ingriselli, a fellow Canadian and Admin on the Canadians Living in Spain Facebook group. Sonia said, "Ann is part of the page and I know many businesses throughout Banus and Marbella. They quickly volunteered to help the cause."
On the same day, The Hideaway bar in La Herradura is also hosting a Pink October charity night, again with an auction. Donations include a painting by local British artist Steffi Goddard and spa days, among other items.
As well as the foreign community, the president of the Parent Teacher Association at La Herradura's primary school has also told Ann that they are planning to hold a family fun day on 17 October, at El Chambao de Joaquín beach bar in La Herradura, with some of the proceeds going towards Ann's cause. During the lockdown the couple donated 10 old iPads they had brought from Canada to help children who did not have laptops at home. "We are so welcomed into our little village and feel very humbled," Ann said.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up and so far just over 27,000 euros have been raised.
Ann is keen to stress that the fundraiser isn't just about saving her own life, but about the treatment itself and how it could help future patients.