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Appeal launched to help woman diagnosed with brain tumour after eye test

By Liam Keen | Shifnal | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

A family need to raise tens of thousands of pounds after a woman was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour.

Christel in hospital

Christel Callow was suffering from headaches for around two months before she booked an appointment for an eye test on July 22.

The optician noticed abnormalities in her right eye, which caused a haemorrhage.

The 26-year-old from Shifnal went for an MRI scan at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where they found a tennis-ball sized tumour and diagnosed her with a stage three cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma.

After surgery at Royal Stoke Hospital doctors were able to remove part of the tumour, but radiotherapy was needed to shrink what remained - which could damage other parts of her brain affecting speech and movement.

Demi and Christel

The family then discovered proton beam therapy which can target and treat specific tumours.

This treatment is not widely available on the NHS and the family must now raise £62,000 to have the treatment done privately.

Demi Melvin has been a friend of Christel's since they went to school together at Idsall School in Shifnal.

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The 27-year-old from Penn in Wolverhampton said: "We've been friends since school, went through school together and she's my best friend.

"We're just trying to raise as much money as possible.

"It's destroyed me, it's broke my heart, it's so sad, she had whole life ahead of her.

"It happened so quickly, she's been through hell, it's been horrible for everyone.

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"The main thing is to get the treatment she requires, she has such a kind heart and doesn't deserve it."

A fundraiser has already raised more than £12,000 in a matter of days as family and friends received an incredible response on Facebook.

"It's been amazing, Christel is overwhelmed by it, we're 20 per cent of the way but there's still a lot to do," Demi added.

"The generosity of the people on Facebook has been fabulous, people are reading her story and it's touching people's hearts.

"She's staying really positive, and that's what she's like as a person, she always has a smile on her face - we're just hoping that someone will come in with something big and help us get to the £62,000."

Demi and Christel

Fiona Walton is another of an army of friends that have come to Christel's side since the diagnosis and are aiming to get her back on her feet.

The 29-year-old from Shifnal said: "It was extremely shocking, you never think something like this will happen to someone you know.

"It went from zero to 100 so quick but she's always smiling.

"She is such a popular girl and so many people are helping her already.

"The money raised is amazing and we just need a big push for the rest."

People can donate to the fundraiser by visiting https://www.facebook.com/donate/362318418009785/.

Due to the severity of the cancer, the group have until the end of September to raise the funds.

To help, they have organised a family fun day at Shifnal War Memorial Club on Innage Road from 2pm on Saturday September 7.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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