Young Biggleswade couple to hold charity ball after both battling brain tumours

Couple Francesca Bryant and Dean Goddard have both battled brain tumours over the past year.

Couple Francesca Bryant and Dean Goddard have both battled brain tumours over the past year. - Credit: Archant

A young couple who have both battled brain tumours are planning to hold a fundraising ball for two charities which have supported them through their toughest times.

Francesca Bryant, 28, and her partner Dean Goddard, 29, live together in Biggleswade and over the past 12 months have each been dealt the devastating blow of being 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.

Usually inherited, nobody else in her family suffers from the same syndrome and Francesca was given the diagnosis after developing her first brain tumour when she was 15.

In total, Francesca has had nine tumours removed, all of which have been benign.


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Dean, an estate agent, was diagnosed with a tumour in his optic nerve after a check-up at the opticians revealed some concerning signs that all was not well and further tests were carried out at hospital.

Francesca said: “Unfortunately, because of where it is, they can’t operate because there’s a 99 per cent chance of him going blind.

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“He had a six-week intensive course of radiotherapy and it looks like it has worked, which is obviously great news, but unfortunately his eyesight was damaged.

“Whilst I’m recovering well from my operations, Dean is still undergoing treatment.

“He’s suffering from significant sight loss and now it’s a case of stabilising this.”

Francesca and Dean, together with their friend Gina McLean, are organising a charity ball to raise money for VHL UK/Ireland and Macmillan Cancer Support at Wyboston Lakes Willows Suite on October 21.

Francesca, who is an assistant buyer for Tesco’s clothing range F&F, said: “We want to raise funds for two charities that have supported us through our toughest times, and we want to raise awareness of VHL as well.

“The money raised will go towards medical research.”

Tickets for the black tie event, which starts at 7pm and includes a three-course dinner, are on sale now and are £30 per person.

For more information and to book your place, email vhlandmacmillanball@hotmail.com

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