Donations pour in for Chipping Sodbury mum preparing for brain tumour operation

Gazette Series: Claire Little, known as Barny to her friends and family, at home with five-year-old daughter Rosalia Claire Little, known as Barny to her friends and family, at home with five-year-old daughter Rosalia

A GROUP in Chipping Sodbury has donated the entire proceeds of a recent event to help a single mother from the town who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Earlier this month we reported how Claire Little, better known as Barny to all her friends and family, collapsed on New Year’s Day with a fit and after several scans and tests was told she had a malignant tumour the size of an orange.

Barny, 41, a mental health nurse, had just bought a new house in Chipping Sodbury for her and five-year-old daughter Rosalia.

“Money has been a big worry,” she told the Gazette in a moving interview. “But I was more upset about losing my independence. I am trying to get on with normal things like cooking and putting my daughter to bed.

"Obviously I have my moments but most of the time I am saying these cells are in my body but a lot of people live with cancer.”

Barny is due to have an awake craniotomy at Frenchay Hospital at the end of this month.

Meanwhile the community, including parents at St John’s Mead Primary School where Rosalia is a pupil, have rallied round and already raised £2,400 to help pay Barny’s mortgage while she is off work. Because she had not been in her job for more than a year, she does not qualify for sick pay.

Now, a group of Masons has donated a further £300 to the fund.

The Lyegrove Lodge, which meets in the Masonic Lodge on Hatters Lane, raised £250 at a recent pig race night and the lodge gave another £50 to the total.

Treasurer Tony Putterill said: “We were looking for something to support as we raise money for charity a lot and then I read about Barny in the Gazette.

“I survived cancer many years ago and had a lot of support when I was very ill. I just thought it would be great if we could give the money to Barny’s Fund.”

The pig race was attended by 100 people and say wind-up pigs used to race each other while punters place bets on their favourite pig.

Barny’s sister Sophie Axford, who is co-ordinating the appeal, said: “A lot of people have made donations and offered to hold events for my sister.

“It just goes to show the generosity and open heartedness of people we don’t even know.”

A ladies only viewing of Grease takes place at the Armadillo youth cafe in Yate on Saturday, April 26 (3.30pm) in aid of Barny’s Fund and other events are being planned. To help contact Sophie Axford on 07854 427394.

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