A woman diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour is set to take the latest step on her £100,000 fundraising quest with an event in South Tyneside tomorrow.
Anna Swabey, 24, was given the heartbreaking news that she had a brain tumour in January, and was given three years to live.
Since then, her boyfriend Andy Bell, from South Shields, has been supporting her through her ordeal.
She has already raised £35,000 for the Brain Tumour Research Campaign (BTRC), with a number of events and challenges undertaken by herself and her family.
Tomorrow, a fundraising event will take place at Whiteleas Social Club, in Oswald Street, South Shields, with music from The Britpop Union, as well as a disco, raffle and auction.
Anna, who was living in Portsmouth as part of her university studies when she received the diagnosis, now lives in Newton Aycliffe with her family.
The fundraising has given me something to concentrate onAnna Swabey
She said: “When I was given the diagnosis, everything closed in on me.
“I was initially told by Southampton Hospital that it was inoperable, but after seeking a second opinion, I had an operation in January in London under Dr Kevin O’Neill.
“He was inspiring, and since then I’ve been a lot more positive.
“The fundraising has given me something to concentrate on, but I couldn’t have raised that without the help of many, many people. People from all over the country have been incredibly supportive.”
Anna writes an online blog, called Inside My Head, detailing her emotions and treatment, as well as raising awareness of brain tumours.
She credits that – along with the support of her family and boyfriend Mr Bell, a Nissan time-served maintenance technician based within the Body Shop, in Sunderland – with keeping her going.
She added: “I’m aiming to raise at least £100,000, but if you had told me in January or February that I would have raised this much already, I’d have been astounded.
“Meeting Andy has been amazing, and he has been so supportive.
“When I found out about my diagnosis, I remember saying to my mum that my chance to find love was gone. Then Andy came along and turned all of that around. He has been amazing.”