Newlywed bride, 28, dies after being told 'tennis ball' lump on leg is just fat

Gemma Malins, 28, who was first misdiagnosed two and a half years ago, sadly passed away last week. She went to her GP about a bump on her thigh, but was told not to worry

Gemma and Brandon got married quickly after their diagnosis (

Picture: change)

A newly married woman whose cancer was twice dismissed as a fat lump by a clumsy doctor has sadly died.

Gemma Malins, 28, was first misdiagnosed two and a half years ago.

She went to her GP about a bump on her thigh, but was told not to worry.

The same verdict was then passed three months later – even though the lump was now “the size of a tennis ball”.

“Another one had grown on my chest,” added Gemma at the time.

It wasn’t until she saw another doctor later in 2019 that she was referred to a specialist.

And after a three-month wait due to insurance problems, she was officially diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.

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Gemma was first misdiagnosed two and a half years ago


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“It had spread all over my body,” Gemma told dem NZ Herald.

More than NZ $ 56,000 (£ 28,830) was raised to help Gemma in April when she decided to try ipilimumab, an antibody treatment that boosts the immune system.

However, after several attempts, the treatment was unsuccessful – and Gemma passed away last week.

New Zealand is currently in lockdown, which means a funeral has not yet taken place.

Gemma was “loved by many people,” said one pastor


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Gemma previously said that a funded immunotherapy called Keytruda initially stabilized melanoma.

But after a year the cancer spread again – and she decided to marry her partner in an impromptu ceremony.

The couple married in Duders Beach, east of Beachlands, a suburb of Auckland.

And she said, “Brandon gave up his whole life for me, his job as a beekeeper. He’s my hero.

“He’s amazing, he’s been with me for every blood test, every needle, every pain, every good and bad day.”

Fundraising pages have been set up to help with Gemma’s treatment and give her a chance to tick off her bucket list.

But while some of the activities were achieved, the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns made it difficult to tick them all off.

Pastor Neil Hamilton of Beachlands Baptist Church said of Gemma’s death that she had been through “a long and hard-fought battle.”

He said Things that her death was devastating due to the strict level 4 restrictions in New Zealand.

“It’s a cruelty. There is no closure for the family,” he added. “She was loved by many people.”

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