Devon

Devon jouster fundraises for ovarian cancer treatment

Nicky Schellander Image copyright Nicky Schellander
Image caption Nicky Schellander is fundraising for the drug Olaparib to stop the cancer growing

One of the UK's only female jousters is fundraising for ovarian cancer treatment which is not available to her on the NHS.

Nicky Schellander, 44, from Barnstaple, Devon, had her ovaries removed when the cancer was found in August 2015.

After pioneering surgery in London, she is fundraising £66,500 for the drug Olaparib to stop the cancer growing.

If the fundraising is successful, she hopes to be back to jousting by October, when she also plans to marry.

Ms Schellander, who has worked on films such as Snow White and the Huntsman and TV series Merlin, went to her GP in August 2015 with stomach pain and was sent home with painkillers.

More on Nicky's story, and other news

Image copyright Nicky Schellander
Image caption Ms Schellander was "devastated" about not being able to start a family with her fiancé

But five days later the pain was so bad she could barely walk, and after an ultrasound a "large mass" was found on her ovary.

She had surgery and chemotherapy and went into remission, but the cancer returned aggressively in February.

Ms Schellander, who lives with fiancé Cy Margieson, said: "It was devastating for me.

"The dreams that my fiancé and I held, are getting harder - we lost our baby and chance of starting a family, so now, the priority is to concentrate on staying alive."

Image copyright Sian Davies
Image caption Her love of horses helped her to become one of the UK's only female jousters

Ms Schellander was told about the drug Olaparib, which will stop the cancer's DNA from replicating, but won't be able to access it on the NHS until she has had three rounds of chemotherapy.

"Rather than waiting for it to come back a third time I'd rather have it now," she said.

"This is the first ovarian cancer treatment to get approval from the NHS in over a decade.

"If it wasn't the only thing that might help me, I would not even consider it.

"I want to get back to full health and get back to doing what I am passionate about and also marry my soulmate."

Image copyright Nicky Schellander
Image caption Ms Schellander trained for two to three years to become a jouster

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