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‘Her life was cut short’ - Family face first Christmas without ‘brave daughter’ who defied medical expectation

PUBLISHED: 13:21 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 14 December 2018

Charlotte Barber, aged seven, prior to her cancer diagnosis a year later. Photo: Julie Barber

Charlotte Barber, aged seven, prior to her cancer diagnosis a year later. Photo: Julie Barber

Julie Barber

The family of a late woman, who outlived her original life expectancy by more than 20 years, are calling on people to support brain tumour research as they prepare for their first Christmas without her.

Julie and David Barber at their home on ** Farm, Wymondham, Photo: Julie BarberJulie and David Barber at their home on ** Farm, Wymondham, Photo: Julie Barber

Charlotte Barber, who lived on Cavick House Farm, Wymondham, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, the most common type of brain tumour to affect children, when she was just eight years old.

Originally given a 30pc chance of surviving the next five years, Charlotte astounded doctors by continuing to fight the condition into her late 30s.

Her mother, Julie Barber, said it came as a shock to the entire family when Charlotte’s condition rapidly declined in May 2018.

Five days after being rushed to hospital and receiving a tumour diagnosis, Charlotte lost her long battle with the cancer aged 37.

Mrs Barber said: “She died at home in her bed with all her teddies. When the hospital told us there was nothing they could do we were in complete shock because we all thought she would outlive me.

“We’ve received so many sympathy cards but I can’t even look at them yet. She had a lovely life and was happy but it was cut short.”

Over the three decades of treatment, Charlotte underwent radiotherapy, chemotherapy and multiple surgeries.

Although she gradually recovered from the treatments, she lost her reading, writing, numerical skills and eventually her speech.

Following their experience, the Barber family have launched a fund raising campaign with the Brain Tumour Research charity to help others in the same position.

Despite years of uncertainty for the entire family, including Charlotte’s two younger sisters, Annabel, 33, and Lizzie Barber, 26, the Wymondham mother of three said she would do it all again in a heart beat.

She said: “Trauma tends to make you forget but when I look back I can hardly believe we got through it.

“My two youngest daughters were incredible and always ready to jump in to hold the fort when me and my husband had to take Charlotte to hospital.

“I hope that we can help other families in the same position by raising money for brain tumour research.

“If we can do this for someone else and stop them going through the same then it will have been worth it.”

So far £1,200 of the £5000 goal has been raised, boosted by a generous £500 donation by Norfolk Liquid Feeds.

To support Charlotte’s appeal click here.

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