Mother and son walk on fire for The Christie

Press release posted 09 March 2016

The Christie is asking people to brave the heat and walk across hot coals to raise vital funds for cancer patients in the North West.

A mother and son from Macclesfield will be among the first to try this fiery new challenge set by The Christie hospital, one of Europe’s leading cancer centres.

Carol Reeves, 47, and Simon Reeves, 22, will be braving the heat to say thank you to The Christie following Simon’s ongoing treatment for neurofibromatosis type 2, a disorder characterised by the growth of noncancerous tumours in the nervous system.

Carol said:

It all happened so quickly…we were on a family bike ride when Simon fell off his bike. He was dizzy and sweating, following a scan they told us the devastating news that Simon had two brain tumours. He was just 19 at the time.

After having one of his tumours removed, which has permanently affected his balance and caused the loss of hearing in his right ear, doctors have said the removal of his second tumour would result in a complete loss of balance and hearing.

In order to prevent the remaining tumour growing, Simon visits The Christie every month for an intravenous dose of Avastin. It is a form of treatment that isn’t available as standard on the NHS, and The Christie is one of a few hospitals in Greater Manchester that offers it to patients.

The family have been making the monthly visit since May 2014 and have come to know the staff very well.

Carol said:

Everyone at The Christie has been so wonderful and caring, and we wanted to give something back to the amazing staff at the Teenage and Young Adult Unit. We know them all so well, and so much of the work and equipment at the unit is funded by the charity we wanted to help.
The firewalk is perfect for Simon, he’s such a daredevil! This is way out of my comfort zone but, as people say, you’d walk over hot coals for your children, and now I literally am!

Firewalking is the practice of walking barefoot on hot embers. A firewalk is designed to help overcome fear and to inspire people to do things they didn't think possible.

The fun and entertainment starts at 6pm at Great Northern Square in Manchester city centre on Thursday 17th March.

Carol and Simon have mixed feelings leading up to the event. Carol said;

I’m looking forward to it but I’m very nervous. Simon can’t wait to get started! People have been so generous – even complete strangers. We set a target of £200 and we’ve already got £340 on Just Giving and £275 on the sponsor forms. This makes me even more determined to walk the coals.

Simon said; “The last couple of years have been a real rollercoaster and have changed my life completely, I doubt I would have got through them without my mum and family. I am doing the Firewalk as a small token of my appreciation for all the staff at the Teenage and Young Adult Unit at The Christie for all their constant care and consideration.”

Lucy Naylor, sporting events manager at The Christie said;

We’re so grateful to Carol and Simon and all our other fundraisers who’ve signed up to this exciting event. The firewalk will test participant’s bravery and determination and is open to anyone. If you think you can stand the heat, places are still available.

Tickets cost £15, and participants can choose which part of The Christie they want to allocate their funds to.

Further information, including how to book your place, is available at  www.christies.org/firewalk.

The event is managed by industry experts, UK Firewalk, who will provide an hour’s training session before walkers brave the coals. 

To sponsor Carol and Simon visit: www.justgiving.com/simon-carolreevesfirewalk2016.

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