Christel Callow: Fundraisers smash target for Shifnal woman with brain tumour
Fundraisers have smashed their target to allow a Shifnal woman with a rare brain tumour to receive advanced treatment.
Christel Callow, 26, was diagnosed with a tumour the size of a tennis ball this summer after going for eye tests at an opticians after complaining of headaches.
It sparked a full-on fundraising drive from her close family and friends.
They set out to raise £62,000, then revised to £68,800. Christel will have to stay in Newport, south Wales, for six weeks while she undergoes the treatment.
Christel has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma. The most effective form of treatment is called proton beam therapy but at the age of 26, Christel is two years past the age limit set by the NHS to receive this treatment.
Jennifer Callow, Christel's sister-in-law, was one of those who helped Christel raise the money. She was friends with Christel when they were both pupils at Idsall School, and is married to Christel's brother, Ash.
"It's phenomenal, isn't it, the way everybody comes together as a community?" she said. "It just shows how loved Christel is by everyone.
"It was [another friend] Christie Farnell that originally set everything up, I've just helped them along the way.
"There were about six of us that came together and it just went from there.
"I think Christel was quite emotional, I think she was overwhelmed [when the target was reached]. I'm just amazed really.
"Obviously we have been quite close and over the weekend it really jumped.
"We're still counting at the moment. I think there's probably another four or five events that people are arranging for her."
The excess money raised will help pay for accommodation for Christel, partner Richard Edwards and their dogs Ava and Bear while she undergoes the radiotherapy, but the online fundraising will soon be closed.
It is hoped Christel can begin her course of therapy, which will include 33 treatments overall, as soon as September 26.
Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of radiotherapy, with radiation treatment delivered by accelerated proton beams rather than X-rays.
One of the events still planned to go ahead and help Christel and family is a dog walk in Shifnal this Sunday.
Anyone who wants to help Christel can do so through facebook.com/donate/362318418009785/