A singer diagnosed with cancer for a third time has been “overwhelmed” that donations to a fundraiser for her treatment have exceeded £100,000.
Faye Fantarrow, 20, from Sunderland, was twice diagnosed with leukaemia as a child and found out in August she had a rare and aggressive brain tumour.
The only treatment available is in California and costs about £450,000.
Eurythmics musician Dave Stewart, who has been mentoring Faye, has pledged £50,000 towards the procedure.
His former band member Annie Lennox has also donated £10,000 to the fundraiser, which was set up a week ago.
Stewart said of his protégé: “I love you and your amazing creativity Faye, you are one of the great songwriter/artists of our time and we need you.”
Speaking to 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”.
Last year she won the Alan Hull award for north-east England songwriters, she had been championed by BBC Introducing as one to watch in 2022 and had recently signed to Stewart’s Bay Street Records label.
“Things were going well and then my body decided to throw me the curved ball of a glioma brain tumour into the mix, to spice things up a bit, but it’s the third time so it’s not my first rodeo,” she said.
Faye was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when she was eight and underwent two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy.
The cancer returned when she was a teenager and she underwent a bone marrow transplant and further chemotherapy.
“This time it’s a rare one, a bit strange and doctors aren’t sure where it came from, ‘cos it came quickly which is why I’m having to go for this CAR-T cell treatment in California because it’s a rare tumour,” she said.
She was told about the treatment by her consultant in Newcastle, which she described as “extracting cells before they are turned into ‘fighter’ cells which are re-inserted to attack the tumour”.
She said her consultant was “inspirational” and the medical team in the North East had been “absolutely incredible”.
“It would never have been an option without Dave Stewart because he said he would put money towards it and help fundraise, so we could tell my consultant there would be funding straight away,” she said.
“My consultant got in touch with Dr Wang in California who said the treatment was an option and was positive about the outcome.”
She 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.