A college is holding a fundraising ball to help send a student, who has been battling cancer for two years, on a dream trip of a lifetime.
Bethany Barry (15) is a Year 11 student who has been fighting Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma for the last two years.
Shuttleworth College in Padiham is aiming to raise enough money to send Bethany and her family to Disneyland after her GCSE examinations this summer as a boost – especially as the one time she was scheduled to go chemotherapy prevented her dream trip.
A huge Disney fan, Bethany’s cancer began in her neck and is now behind her nose and is extremely rare with only around 250 cases per year diagnosed in the UK.
Her mum Angela said: “It has been hard. Bethany has a tumour which started in her neck and is now behind her nose so it isn’t easy to treat.
“It started in August, 2015, when her lymph nodes swelled up but initially it was treated with antibiotics.
“Bethany had a biopsy when it didn’t clear and they found abnormal cells after removing some of her lymph nodes but again it was suggested it was an infection.
“It wasn’t until January, 2016, that Beth had another biopsy on her lymph nodes and we were told it was cancer.
“Bethany was 13 at the time and obviously I had to hold it together for her.
“It was devastating but we were positive and then began treatment so we immediately focused on the next stage.”
The family went to Jacksonville in America for intensive chemotherapy known as proton beam treatment over a ten week period arranged by Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.
Angela added: “While Bethany was having the treatment there was a Bank Holiday weekend and I got tickets for Universal Studios but she was taken for chemo two days before we were due to go.
“With it being a holiday weekend and really hot the risk of infection was high so we couldn’t take her.”
Bethany returned home and had Immune Therapy treatment in Manchester for six months. She now has MRI scans and sees an oncologist regularly.
Shuttleworth headteacher Ruth England described Bethany as "amazingly resilent" saying: "Bethany has has done everything she can to keep up with her studies despite spending months being treated.
"Bethany is still undergoing regular treatment and is balancing this while preparing for her GCSEs this summer.
"Throughout the past two years, Bethany 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."
The school have already held a non-uniform day to kickstart the appeal with all money raised going to fund the trip.
The Ball for Beth will be held at Burnley Football Club on Saturday, February 24th, with a three course meal, disco and entertainment.
Tickets are £35, available from 01282 682300 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If any companies would like to get involved with the fundraising activities or contribute to the auction they are also asked to get in touch.
Items have already come from Burnley FC, there is a champagne afternoon tea on offer as well as spa days and jewellery.