Beth's Ball set to make Disney dream come true

Beth and her mum Angela at the ball.
Beth and her mum Angela at the ball.
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A school has raised the staggering total of £13,179 for one if its students.

Shuttleworth College held a ball to send student Bethany Barry to Disneyland for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Beth's mum Angela (second from right) with fundraisers after Beth's Ball.

Beth's mum Angela (second from right) with fundraisers after Beth's Ball.

Year 11 student Bethan (15) has been fighting against Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma for the last two years.

It’s a cancer which began in her neck and is extremely rare – the statistics are that there are only around 250 cases per year diagnosed in the UK.

Bethany has had to have intensive treatment, even going to America for specialist treatment.

“It has been really hard,” said her mum Angela, who lives in Padiham. “Beth was 13 when she was diagnosed and she has wanted to live the life of a normal teenager, without any fuss, but obviously it has been difficult as she has had to have extensive treatment, she lost her hair and it made her extremely tired.

“Bethany still has regular MRI scans and sees an oncologist.”

Shuttleworth College wanted to do something for Bethany and she is Disney-mad. When she was in America having treatment she had hoped to go to Florida but her illness meant it didn’t happen.

So the college organised a black-tie event at Burnley Football Club with support from a large number of Burnley businesses, fellow schools in Hapton Primary School and Pendle Vale and the band The Yard Dogs, DJ Kev Riley, photographer Geoff Birtwell and National Marquee Hire who all donated their services on the night to help to raise the staggering amount.

“We are overwhelmed,” said Angela. “I think Shuttleworth College were too and it was fantastic of the school to organise such a big event for Beth.

“We had hoped to raise £10,000 – it’s £8,000 for two weeks and the Ultimate Disney Pass so we had hoped for that but this has exceeded our expectations and Beth is so proud and so happy.

“Beth will sit her GCSE exams in June and then go to Florida four days after they finish.

“We know the exams will be tough, she missed a lot of school in Year 9 and 10, but we are proud of her no matter what.

“She has set her sights on going to Nelson and Colne College and wants to be a play therapist but that’s all after Disney. I can’t wait to see her face when we arrive at the theme parks. It will be amazing to see the smile on Beth’s face after everything she has been through. It is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I don’t think any of us can quite believe it!”

Shuttleworth College Head teacher Ruth England said: "Bethany has been amazingly resilient over this time and has done everything she can to keep up with her studies despite spending months being treated.

"Throughout the past two years, Beth has not wanted a fuss to be made or any special treatment. She is a really private girl and hasn't wanted to talk about her cancer to anyone except close family. She has been so brave and has just got on with her school work. We are all extremely proud of her strength and commitment which is why we want to do something special for her."

Shuttleworth College have thanked the following companies for their support: PMM Accountants, Forbes, Veka, Designer Contracts, Education Partnership Trust, Engie, Unique Cleaning, Bidfood, Nelson Football Club, Randstad, My Face.

They would also like to thank Wedding Belles Blackburn who provided Beth’s dress, her shoes were from Barbara Kays in Accrington and her make-up was done by Francesca Delbono.