In 2008 Karen Farrow experienced a twitch. This was followed by headaches and dizziness and her hearing was affected.
Following visits to her doctor Karen, 48, was scanned which showed that she had multiple tumours for which surgery was recommended.
Three months later Karen, from Hale, Cheshire, contracted post-operative meningitis and MRSA. After the mum-of-two recovered she faced more operations and by 2011 a tumour was discovered in her neck. She was treated at Salford Royal and in December 2011 a scan showed that the tumour was growing.
Resistant to radiotherapy
Her tumour was found to be highly radiotherapy resistant and would not have responded to traditional radiotherapy.
She was accepted for proton beam therapy by the proton beam clinical panel in either Switzerland or Boston and chose Switzerland.
She was accompanied by her sister when in 2012 she spent eight weeks there having 35 treatments. She stayed in an apartment near to the facility and was treated each day from Monday to Friday.
Support from family
Karen said: “Having the proton beam therapy was not a pleasant experience but I have to say the Swiss facilities, and especially the transport system, were amazing.
“When the proton beam therapy unit is built in Manchester at The Christie it will make such a difference because you can have your friends and family near and that would make the whole experience so much easier.
“It must be so hard if you have to travel abroad with young, poorly children.”