Ashley Mackinnon, of Wilsons Creek, is auctioning his deceased wife’s brain scans on eBay to help raise awareness about the benefits of CyberKnife radiosurgery cancer treatment, which is not yet available in Australia.
Ashley Mackinnon, of Wilsons Creek, is auctioning his deceased wife’s brain scans on eBay to help raise awareness about the benefits of CyberKnife radiosurgery cancer treatment, which is not yet available in Australia.

Wife’s death spurs eBay auction

ASHLEY MACKINNON believes the life of his wife, Leah Chapman, could have been saved had they discovered the painless tumour and lesion treatment called CyberKnife radiosurgery shortly after they discovered her cancer in 2001.

Instead, Mr Mackinnon and Ms Chapman struggled through many treatments of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery before an internet search revealed the revolutionary new treatment being used in the United States.

To help bring public attention to the cancer treatment and pay the medical bills, Mr Mackinnon has placed on eBay 20 of his wife’s full-colour brain scans revealing her tumours.

CyberKnife radiosurgery uses image-guided robotics to target and destroy tumours and lesions with beams of high-energy radiation.

US-based company, Accuray, says individual beams pass harmlessly through healthy tissue, but when all the beams reach their target they deliver a lethal dose of radiation to the tumour or lesion.
Mr Mackinnon said the technology was not available in Australia, with many cancer patients travelling overseas to get access to the treatment.

Ms Chapman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 at the age of 37.

After chemotherapy and radiation therapy she underwent a mastectomy.

One year later the cancer returned, with Ms Chapman undergoing further chemotherapy.

In 2004, Ms Chapman had a seizure and doctors discovered nine tumours in her brain.

Told there was no treatment left to help her, Ms Chapman and Mr Mackinnon started their own research, discovering Gamma Knife and CyberKnife radiosurgery on the internet.

They travelled to San Diego in the US for Gamma Knife treatment in 2005, but the tumours returned a year later.

He said they then travelled to Oklahoma City for the CyberKnife treatment.

Mr Mackinnon said his wife responded well to the treatment, but collapsed only months later when her liver stopped functioning and she died two weeks later.

“It has become my passion to get this treatment in Australia,” he said.


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