Proton beam therapy target reached for Shifnal woman

Christel Callow and partner Richard Edwards Image copyright Christel Callow
Image caption Christel Callow, pictured with partner Richard Edwards, had celebrated her 26th birthday two days before her eye test uncovered problems

A woman, diagnosed with a brain tumour following an eye test, has raised enough money for advanced treatment.

Friends and family of Christel Callow, 26, from Shropshire, had hoped to raise £62,000 to have proton beam therapy, which she did not qualify for on the NHS.

They have now raised over £73,000, and she hopes to begin treatment later this month.

Miss Callow said she was "overwhelmed" with the support she had received.

"I didn't expect it, especially so soon," she added.

"I just want to thank everybody, it is such great news."

Image copyright Christel Calow
Image caption Christel Callow underwent an operation to remove the majority of the tumour but needs further treatment

Miss Callow had been having headaches for months when she booked an opticians appointment for July.

There, abnormalities were spotted and she was referred for hospital treatment where a tennis-ball sized tumour was found and the majority removed.

Miss Callow was told she had a fast-growing cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma, and would need radiotherapy - but that this could damage other parts of her brain, affecting her speech and movement.

She discovered proton beam therapy, which uses high energy protons precisely targeted at a tumour, but did not qualify for treatment on the NHS.

An NHS England spokesperson said: "The NHS does fund proton beam therapy when it is shown to be clinically effective for rare tumours but it may not be the best treatment option for patients."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Proton beam therapy enables a dose of high energy protons to be precisely targeted at a tumour

On 27 August, her friends began fundraising for her to have the procedure at the Rutherford Cancer Centre in South Wales.

Miss Callow is set to go to the centre on 25 September.

Christie Farnell, one of a group of friends who launched the fundraiser said all money raised will go into a trust to pay for any future treatment Miss Callow needs.

"It is not over and she has a journey that we would like to support her in for the future," Miss Farnell said.

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