Family vows to launch charity in memory of promising student April Shannon

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The heartbroken family of a promising young student are to set up a charity in her name after she lost her short battle with brain cancer.

April Shannon passed away at her home in Mansfield Woodhouse last month.

The 21-year-old, who had been studying English at Sheffield University, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour at Christmas.

Doctors delivered the devastating news in March that there was nothing more could be done for her and she spent her final few weeks being cared for at home.

Her brother-in-law Chris, who helped raise a staggering £7,500 with a charity bike ride to Skegness, is organising the April Shannon Foundation which will help children or young adults suffering with terminal brain cancer.

Chris said: “The support has been overwhelming, people who we’ve not seen for years and friends of April from school have been in touch.

“We’ve been over the moon and really impressed.

“We just need to get the paperwork signed off - this is something that will help keep the memory of April alive.”

April suffered a seizure in the days before Christmas last year and scans showed a brain tumour.

Surgeons could only remove part of the tumour, and due to a series of infections, she was unable to start chemotherapy.

This allowed the tumour to grow, and doctors gave the family the news they had been dreading.

“They said it would only be a matter of weeks. We were just devastated,” said Chris.

“April took it better than anybody, she was that brave it was unbelievable, she was comforting us. We took her home and cared for as a family, taking it turns.

“We were with her as a family when she passed away, it’s hard to explain how we felt, it was nice not to see her in pain but it did not bring any kind of relief.”

April, a former Manor Academy pupil, harboured dreams of becoming a lecturer when her life was cut tragically short.

White horses were used to pull the carriage carrying April for her funeral, which was held at St Edmund’s Church and which was packed out with friends and family.

Two white doves were also released at the crematorium.

“We gave her the best send off we could,” said Chris, her brother-in-law.

Such was April’s popularity, friends even gathered for a night in her honour at Industria bar on Mansfield’s Leeming Street.

April leaves her mother Carole Shannon, brothers Martyn and Steven, sister Michelle, brother-in-law Chris and her boyfriend Winston Severn.