Family rallies for promising student diagnosed with brain cancer

April Shannon
April Shannon

The family of a promising young university student who collapsed with brain cancer are rallying to raise cash for her cause.

Relatives of April Shannon from Mansfield Woodhouse were told to expect the worse when the 20-year-old was rushed to hospital days before Christmas after suffering a seizure caused by a brain haemorrhage.

Doctors gave her just a 10 per cent of making it through the night, but she pulled through despite spending the next three days in a coma.

However, an MRI scan days later confirmed that she had an 8cm brain tumour.

Her brother-in-law Chris Jewkes said: “We had the police knock on the door at 10pm and told she was seriously ill.

“We were devastated and rushed the hospital. We all just cried and cried.

“We were told by doctors not to expect miracles, but within two hours of her coming round she was talking and laughing with us.

“When she had the MRI scan and told she had a tumour, we were just numb.

“Until it happens, you just can’t explain the feelings you go through, you just sit there with your mouths open.”

April, who is studying English at Sheffield University and harbours dreams of becoming a lecturer, was found collapsed in her hall of residents by a fellow student.

Chris, 35, added: “There were no symptoms beforehand, she was lucky to be found - everybody where she lived had gone home for Christmas.

“It just so happened that one guy had been out to do Christmas shopping and he found her.”

The former Manor Academy pupil has already undergone two operations, including one to remove the tumour.

Doctors were only able to remove 60 per cent, with the remainder inoperable.

April is now due to undergo a round of intense chemotherapy in a bid to shrink the remainder.

She also had a plate inserted, which then led to an infection and had to be later removed.

“We are there every day at the hospital, we just want her home,” added Chris.

“She’s in great spirits, laughing and joking, and she is very positive about it.

“She’s upbeat and ready to take on the world.”

In a bid to raise cash to support April, Chris is now organising a sponsored bike ride from Mansfield to Skegness.

So far there are around 13 riders, but Chris is calling on others to join the group on the 78-mile journey.

Organised for April 2, April herself is expected to join in.

Prizes have also been donated for a raffle, including from Butlin’s and The Monster Shop in Mansfield.

Chris said: “We just want to get as many people as possible, we have about 13, we’d like to get more than 30.

“I haven’t been on a bike in years so I’ve just bought one!”

Anyone wanting to take part is being asked to contact Chris on 07508548088.