Darts marathon helps teenager on the road to recovery

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A FORMER brain tumour patient hit the bullseye at an event to help a fellow sufferer.

Colin Young was diagnosed with a tumour attached to his pituitary gland, last year.

John Spencer and Colin Young organised a sponsored darts marathon at the Hylton Castle Arms to help raise money for Alex Neal and her family to go over to America when she has her brain tumour treatment.

John Spencer and Colin Young organised a sponsored darts marathon at the Hylton Castle Arms to help raise money for Alex Neal and her family to go over to America when she has her brain tumour treatment.

The 49-year-old, of Hylton Castle, had an operation to remove it, and now just needs to visit hospital for check-ups every few months to make sure it is not returning.

Now Colin, along with his Grundfos colleague John Spencer, 44, of Town End Farm, has put efforts into helping Alex Neal, of Castletown.

The 16-year-old Sunderland College student has to travel to Florida to receive treatment for a tumour attached to her pituitary gland.

Alex was diagnosed with the rare tumour and had brain surgery at the RVI hospital, Newcastle, to remove as much of it as possible last month.

“I read Alex’s story in the Echo and it was similar to mine,” said Colin. “And I just said that I had to do something to help.”

He has raised more than £1,000 towards helping Alex’s mum, Michelle Burdis, 39, of Coach Road, Washington, make the trip with her daughter for up to three months.

“Her condition is worse than mine,” said Colin. “So for her to have to travel to America and have treatment without her mam would be awful.

“My wife and kids saw me going through it, so when I told them I wanted to do something to help Alex they told me to go for it.”

Colin, who has asked Grundfos to donate to the cause, contacted Alex’s family via Facebook and said he would like to help raise money towards the £5,000 Michelle needs to go to America.

On Saturday, he held a 12-hour long darts tournament from 10am to 10pm at the Hylton Castle Arms, Canterbury Road, with John, who wanted to help Colin raise money for the cause.

Alex, who is being funded to travel to Florida with dad Steven Neal, 49, of Castletown, attended the fund-raiser with family including mum Michelle, and said having the support of people they don’t know is overwhelming.

“It’s mad how all these people are doing so much to help me,” said Alex.

“I’m nervous about going. Apparently it gets worse towards the end of treatment, so hopefully I might get to see some of America at the beginning.”

Michelle said: “It’s a bit overwhelming that people who don’t know us want to help and get involved after just reading about Alex’s story.

“I have to get there to be with her. I can’t stay at home knowing she’s across the other side of the world going through that.”