Styler backs campaign for deported cancer patient

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The actress Trudie Styler has backed a campaign to allow a terminally ill Ghanaian woman to return to the UK for treatment.

Styler, wife of the rock star Sting, is reported to have donated a substantial amount to the appeal in aid of Ama Sumani.

Ms Sumani, 39, who has two children, was being treated for malignant myeloma at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, when she was deported last month because her visa had expired. Friends of Ms Sumani have set up a fund to help, and about £30,000 has now been raised.

The campaign organiser, Janet Symmonds, confirmed that Styler had pledged her support, but refused to say if she had donated money. Wales on Sunday reported yesterday that the star is understood to have pledged £10,000.

Ms Symmonds said: "She is in support of us bringing Ama back here to get treatment, but I'm not at liberty to say if she's donated money. I haven't spoken to her myself. She heard about the case through the publicity it's had.

"We've had donations from ordinary people from all over the UK, as far away as the Highlands. I'm glad that people want to help out because it's getting the message across to politicians. I haven't had any offers of assistance from politicians at all."

The money is being used to provide treatment in Ghana for Ms Sumani. But Ms Symmonds said doctors there cannot give her thalidomide, which she needs to treat the illness that has attacked her kidneys.

Ms Symmonds, who runs an African goods shop in Cardiff, said one South Wales family had even offered to provide a home for Ms Sumani, and to arrange a funeral if she does not survive. The family, who are not British, have also said that they would look after Ms Sumani's children Mary, 16, and seven-year-old Samede.

Ms Symmonds is travelling to Ghana today for a three-week trip to check the progress of her friend, whom she met four years ago, and to take documents so she can apply to return to Wales. She added: "She's not very good at the moment. The doctors are trying various things but none seem to be working."

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