Whitley Bay mum completes charity abseil
A brave mother abseiled off one of the region’s most iconic buildings for charity.
Mum-of-three Paula Shaftoe descended the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, raising more than £1,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
The 34-year-old, from Whitley Bay, was diagnosed with a low-grade meningioma in January, after suffering severe and persistent headaches and then stroke-like symptoms.
She has been told that unless she goes through with high-risk brain surgery, she will eventually lose all feeling in her arms and legs.
Paula said: “I’ve opted against surgery for now as the stakes are just too high. The tumour is pressing against my brain stem and has a vertebral artery going through it.
“Due to its dangerous position and the risks of life-changing consequences, I’ve decided to focus on living life to the full and making lots of memories with my family for the time being.”
Paula completed the abseil in front of a gathered crowd of well-wishers, including her children, Poppy, aged three, Daniel, eight and 14-year-old Kieran.
She said: “Doing the abseil was an amazing experience!
“It was like nothing I’ve ever done before and I feel really proud to have achieved it.
“Having my kids there to cheer me on was brilliant – I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m so pleased I could help spread awareness and raise some much-needed funds.”
Paula is now planning to organise more fundraisers at Star of the Sea RC Primary School, which her son attends in year four and at her daughter’s nursery, Little Gems of the Sea.
To make a donation via Paula’s JustGiving page visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paulashaftoe
Matthew Price, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age, at any time.
“What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and they kill more women under 35 than breast cancer – yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this fight devastating disease.
“We want to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Paula for taking on this challenge and for sharing her story. She has raised vital funds to help find a cure for the disease.
“We hope people will be touched by her amazing efforts and consider holding their own event to spread the word about this terrible disease.”