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Nicola Mendelsohn reveals cancer treatment has stopped due to Covid-19

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 2 days ago Monica Greep For Mailonline
Nicola Mendelsohn, Nicola Mendelsohn are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

British advertising executive Nicola Mendelsohn has revealed that treatment for her incurable blood cancer was stopped because of the coronavirus crisis and can't be resumed. 

The 49-year-old businesswoman, from Manchester, who is Facebook's Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was diagnosed with Follicular lymphoma in 2016.

Her cumulative treatment was stopped because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and says due to the lack of research into the disease, doctors have no idea when it will return.  

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today to promote Facebook's new blood donation feature, the mother-of-four admitted that the worst thing about having an incurable disease is the 'mind games' of not knowing when the illness will next strike. 

Nicola Mendelsohn standing in front of a blue wall: British advertising executive Nicola Mendelsohn, pictured in 2017, revealed that treatment for incurable blood cancer was stopped because of the coronavirus crisis © Provided by Daily Mail British advertising executive Nicola Mendelsohn, pictured in 2017, revealed that treatment for incurable blood cancer was stopped because of the coronavirus crisis Nicola Mendelsohn standing in front of a computer screen: Appearing on Good Morning Britain today to promote Facebook's new blood donation feature, she told that her cumulative treatment was stopped because of the Covid-19 pandemic © Provided by Daily Mail Appearing on Good Morning Britain today to promote Facebook's new blood donation feature, she told that her cumulative treatment was stopped because of the Covid-19 pandemic

'Because of Covid, I had to stop my cancer treatment,' she explained. 'I was one of the many cancer patients in this country, and around the world, that had to stop their treatment and I can't pick it up. 

'So, I am hoping the treatment I have had will stand me in good stead for the longest time possible.'  

Nicola had to put her treatment on hold due to the pandemic, because the risk of her catching coronavirus was too high. 

She went on: 'It is what I'm saying and it's a treatment I can't continue because it was a cumulative treatment that relied on building up from the previous treatments you had.

Nicola Mendelsohn sitting in front of a sign: The 49-year-old businesswoman, from Manchester, is Facebook's Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and was diagnosed with Follicular lymphoma in 2016 © Provided by Daily Mail The 49-year-old businesswoman, from Manchester, is Facebook's Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and was diagnosed with Follicular lymphoma in 2016

'It was deemed that the risk to my health was too great to catch the disease and indeed I'm classed in the super vulnerable category and I'm currently shielding.' 

Nicola explained due to the nature of her illness, doctors cannot tell her when it is likely to come back, but she hopes the treatment she's already had will 'prolong the need for her to need the next treatment'. 

'Of course it's challenging having a disease like Follicular lymphoma,' she told. 

'Because of the lack of research there is, they don't know when it's going to come back. 

'What they can tell me is that this treatment that I was on for two years, of which I was able to get for 18 months, will prolong the need for me to need the next treatment. 

'I'm hoping I got enough to really push it out, but they can't tell me. 

Nicola Mendelsohn smiling for the camera: Even as a top executive, she has had to put her treatment on hold due to the pandemic, because the risk of her catching coronavirus was too high © Provided by Daily Mail Even as a top executive, she has had to put her treatment on hold due to the pandemic, because the risk of her catching coronavirus was too high a screenshot of a person: Nicola explained to hosts Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid (both pictured) due to the nature of her illness, doctors cannot tell her when it is likely to come back © Provided by Daily Mail Nicola explained to hosts Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid (both pictured) due to the nature of her illness, doctors cannot tell her when it is likely to come back

'The mind games are the things that are the hardest for anybody living with an incurable disease, because you don't know when it's going to come back.' 

Facebook is today announcing a partnership with NHS blood service providers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to help top up the blood donation pipeline with much-needed 'new blood'.

It will also help the NHS to recruit convalescent plasma donors, who could save the lives of people with COVID-19. 

Last year Nicola launched the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation (FLF), which is dedicated to helping people with the disease to live well and get well. 

It will achieve this by funding research to find new treatments and cures for Follicular lymphoma, and supporting patients and their families affected by the disease by creating information resources.

Nicola Mendelsohn wearing a blue dress standing in front of a building: Last year Nicola, pictured at Buckingham Palace in 2015,  launched the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation (FLF), which is dedicated to helping people with the disease to live well and get well © Provided by Daily Mail Last year Nicola, pictured at Buckingham Palace in 2015,  launched the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation (FLF), which is dedicated to helping people with the disease to live well and get well

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire Show, the mother-of-four said she tries not to think about the fact her disease is terminal.

She added her four children take comfort in the fact she's still working despite her incurable cancer diagnosis, because it reassures them that she's 'alright'.

'I try not to think about that, erm, I think [my children] try to not think about that either,' she explained.

'They say that they see how I am, they look me, and I do ask them, I'm asking them all the time, "How are you about it?" and they go, "Well, you're alright Mum, if you're working, if you're living what seems like our normal life, then we're OK".' 

Nicola told how she is determined to find a cure for the incurable disease through her newly established charity, and believes it can be done in her lifetime with the right funding and publicity.  

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