Villagers Rally Round Callum After Brain Tumor Surgery
HADDENHAM residents have rallied round to support brave teenage cancer patient Callum Brown, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February. The village sports and social club committee held a disco in June to raise money for 13-year-old Callum, who i
HADDENHAM residents have rallied round to support brave teenage cancer patient Callum Brown, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February.
The village sports and social club committee held a disco in June to raise money for 13-year-old Callum, who is still undergoing radiotherapy after having a tumour removed from the centre of his brain in April.
The Haddenham club raised £1,370 and were able to buy Callum a new bike. Businesses donated prizes and Callum was soon able to test his new mode of transport- donated by City Cycle Centre - just weeks after having serious brain surgery. The operation left him with a slight balance and vision problem which doctors say may or may not be permanent, but he is facing the future with good humour and determination.
Callum's mum, Sally, said that his latest visit to the doctor revealed a clear scan - with no part of the tumour left - and he will be able to go on a school trip in August.
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"He's coping really well," she added.
"Callum is so determined for somebody so young. Addenbrooke's Hospital staff have been so impressed with the way he deals with everything, and he is the first to cheer up the little ones on the ward."
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Ironically, the family found out that the tumour had gone on Friday 13 - the same day as Haddenham sports and social club disco.
"I can't tell you how supportive his friends have been - it can be quite isolating because Callum has to have treatment every day and we're not even half-way through his radiotherapy yet," Sally added. "He just wants to do normal things, to get on and go to school like any other 13-year-old, but he gets very tired. His friends come round, and ask how he is when I see them in the street. The whole community in Haddenham has got behind him - they have been brilliant."
Callum is determined to be well enough to take part in the Relay for Life for Cancer Research in September. Although his mum is busy transporting him to and from hospital, the family are determined to hit their £5,000 target.
About 12 of Callum's supporters will join him and his family, including 10-year-old sister Chloe, for a sponsored relay walk which takes place in Cambridgeshire on September 13. The landowner of Lodge Farm in Fulbourn, South Cambs, who lost his wife to cancer, decided to dedicate a lake to her, round which cancer survivors and their supporters will walk in 12-24 hour sponsored legs, lit by tea lights with messages to cancer sufferers and survivors from all over the county.
Callum's friends and family will compete under the name The Ginger King and Team Jaffa Cake - a reference to his shock of ginger hair, which has fallen out since his chemotherapy.
"We did it last year in memory of a friend, and one of the first things Callum said when he found out he had cancer was I'm going to do it and I'm going to wear a Survivor T Shirt," Sally said.
If you would like to sponsor The Ginger King and Team Jaffa Cake go to www.donatetomyrelay.org/gingerking, or contact Sally on 01353 740384 with fundraising ideas or donations.
Bernie Dennis from Haddenham Sports and Social club committee, Callum Brown, Roy Woodbridge, also from the Sports and social committee, and Callum's 10-year-old sister Chloe.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE 4137HD0708