Young Biggleswade brain tumour survivors’ charity ball raises more than £4,000

PUBLISHED: 10:07 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:07 10 November 2017

Magician Mitchell Kettlewell performing at one of the tables on the night. Picture: All Type Imagery.

Magician Mitchell Kettlewell performing at one of the tables on the night. Picture: All Type Imagery.

Archant

A young couple who have both battled brain tumours have raised more than £4,000 for two charities which have supported them through their fight for life.

Gina McLean, Dean Goddard and Francesca Bryant. Picture: All Type Imagery. Gina McLean, Dean Goddard and Francesca Bryant. Picture: All Type Imagery.

Francesca Bryant, 28, and her partner Dean Goddard, 29, live together in Biggleswade and within the same year were both diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Francesca has Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, which predisposes her to a variety of malignant and benign tumours of the eye, brain, spinal cord, kidney, pancreas and adrenal glands.

Francesca was diagnosed after developing her first brain tumour when she was 15 and has had a total of nine tumours removed, which have all been benign.

The syndrome is usually inherited, but nobody else in her family suffers from the condition.

Dean Goddard and Francesca Bryant. Picture: All Type Imagery. Dean Goddard and Francesca Bryant. Picture: All Type Imagery.

Dean was shocked when a routine sight test at the opticians found something was desperately wrong behind one of his eyes.

Following various tests in hospital, Dean was diagnosed with a tumour in his optic nerve, which surgeons are unable to operate on due to its location, and radiotherapy has damaged his eyesight.

Dean, an estate agent, is still waiting for his eyesight to stabilise and is adapting to being partially-sighted.

The brave couple, together with their friend Gina McLean, held a charity ball at Wyboston Lakes Willows Suite at the end of October.

Local businesses came together to provide lighting, table centrepieces, drapes and balloons at the black tie event, which included a three-course meal.

Francesca, who is an assistant buyer for Tesco’s clothing range F&F, said: “It was a fantastic evening. Magician and mind reader Mitchell Kettlewell, from Biggleswade, is up and coming and was fabulous.

“Altogether - with the raffle and auction on the night, ticket sales and further fundraising events we’ve done over the past few months - we have raised an amazing £4,710, to be split between Macmillan Cancer Support and VHL UK/Ireland.

“Thank you so much to everyone who contributed towards this amazing amount.”

For more about VHL UK/Ireland, visit www.vhl-uk-ireland.org

For more about Macmillan Cancer Support, visit www.macmillan.org.uk

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