Faye Fantarrow, 20 is an immensely talented singer/songwriter from Sunderland in the North East of England. Faye was just 8yrs old when the fight for her life began.
In recent years, the North East music scene has shown great care, compassion and protection of its fellow members. In November of 2022, an online conversation hit headlines when a call to action circulated about musician, Faye Fantarrow, and the community fundraiser that surrounds her.
Faye was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in September 2010, she underwent two and half years of invasive, gruelling chemotherapy that robbed her of her hair, her mobility and her childhood…but she fought.
Faye was just 13 years old when her life as a normal teenager ended and her leukaemia returned in August 2015. This time, Faye had to endure long stays in hospital fighting the infections her body was prone to as a result of gruelling chemo and radiotherapy. Such processes were designed to kill - not only the cancer - but completely eradicate Faye’s own bone marrow, putting her at severe risk of succumbing to an infection at any time. Faye’s only hope was a bone marrow transplant…but she fought.
In September this year, aged just 20, Faye started to feel unwell again. After visiting hospital and undergoing scans, she was given the harrowing news that her life was ending. Diagnosed with an aggressive Glioma brain tumour, believed to be a very rare consequence of the radiotherapy she had for her bone marrow transplant. There is no cure here in the UK; The music scene has rallied in support, deciding they cannot let Faye’s life end here…
Faye has been accepted on a Cart cell trial to cure her cancer in California, but the travel expenses and cost accumulates to £450,000. The BBC reported how Faye was told about the treatment by her consultant in Newcastle, who described it as "extracting cells before they are turned into 'fighter' cells which are re-inserted to attack the tumour".
"She is the brightest star you could ever find on the darkest night, she is strong, independent and talented…please donate …please help to help Faye fight" Faye's Crowdfunder
There's a much needed urgency to this movement, hoping to see Faye back on stage soon. A spotlight has not only been placed on the artist's cause, but also her achievements whilst fighting such a lengthy battle throughout her life. Championed by BBC Introducing as one to watch in 2022, Faye recently signed with Stewart's Bay Street Records and won the Alan Hull award for north-east England songwriters.
So far, the campaign #FightForFaye has seen donations pile in from colleagues, peers, friends, family, and strangers alike. Exceeding an immense 100k over a short span of a few days, the the fight has onboarded Eurythmics musician, Dave Stewart, who has pledged £50,000 towards the procedure after mentoring Faye in the past. Joining the fight with Stewart, former band member, Annie Lennox, has also donated £10,000 to the fundraiser. When interviewed about the overwhelming reception of her call to action by BBC Radio Newcastle, Faye said the support and love she had received from the music community had been "overwhelming" and said she was surrounded "by the best people possible".
As it stands, Faye has already undergone radiotherapy to try to shrink the tumour and is waiting to have scans which will determine when she can travel to the City of Hope hospital in Duarte, California.
Funds raised in excess of these costs will be donated to cancer research charities.
If the full amount is not reached the funds raised will be used to partially fund the trial and Faye’s home will be sold to raise the shortfall. By donating to this cause you agree to these terms.
Feature image sourced via NARC magazine:
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