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College helps raise funds for life-saving trip

Classmates of a brave teenager suffering from a tumour have rallied round and raised £1,200 towards a life-saving trip to America.

Alex Neal, 17, has been diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and needs to raise £5,000 to pay for her mum and dad to travel with her to Florida.

Once in Florida a team of doctors will be able to help Alex receive the specialist radiotherapy that could save her sight and her life.

To help ensure she and her family gets there, friends of Alex at Sunderland College’s St. Peter’s campus have got together and put on a series of money-raising events.

Fundraising activities have included a staff and students football match, Eurovision sweepstake, taking part in the Sunderland Marathon, tombola and the selling of Action4Alex wristbands.

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So far staff and students from across the College’s five campuses have raised £1,200 and money continues to come in.

Alex, from Castletown, Sunderland, was studying for a BTEC in Science, Psychology and English Language before she had to leave college due to her illness.

She now spends most of her time at home where she is cared for by family and friends including her mum, dad, step-mum, four sisters and two brothers.

Student Daniel Appleby, 18, from South Shields said: “As soon as we were made aware of the situation with Alex, everybody at the College felt determined to help out a fellow friend and student.

“We quickly decided we would do all we can to ensure she gets the treatment she needs and I was overwhelmed with the support that we received from staff and students alike

“We can now only hope that Alex receives the best support possible and we all wish her the very best for the future. It has been a pleasure to help a cause so dear to us all.”

Alex’s sister Rebecca Neal, 20, from Washington said: “We were all so shocked by the generosity of people at the college. Many of them wouldn’t have known Alex so get such support from strangers is overwhelming.

“They have all been so eager to help and Alex was quite taken aback by their support.

“All being well, we hope Alex will be able to return to college before Christmas.”

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