Community rallies to support fundraiser for Charlie

Charlie Gwillim of Devon Emdroidery celebrating her first year in business. Ref shs 48 18TI 5702. Pi

Charlie Gwillim of Devon Emdroidery celebrating her first year in business. Ref shs 48 18TI 5702. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Nearly £8,000 has been raised in less than 24 hours to support a popular Sidmouth businesswoman after she was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

The Sid Valley community have rallied to support Charlie Gwillim and her fiancé Rob Jackson following her diagnosis, donating £6,790 in 14 hours.

Friend Ben Rix launched the Go Fund Me Page on Tuesday evening in the hope of raising £10,000 for the couple by taking on the Tipton 10km run with friends on July 13.

The team name will be Charlie’s Angels, and the runners will be the co-creators of Charlie’s Fund: Elizabeth Colson, Daniel Colson, Jessica Morris, Ryan Davies, Ben Gibbs, Ella Robinson, Ben Salter, Faye Chinery and Ben David himself. Ben’s father Tim Swarbrick will also be taking part, and Charlie’s fiance Rob Jackson.

In February, Charlie, 27, had been suffering the effects of migraines and visited the doctors and hospital.

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Following an eye test, an optician found an abnormality behind her eye and sent Charlie to hospital.

She was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in the front of her brain and underwent treatment in Plymouth to remove the tumour.

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The diagnosis forced the couple to cancel a romantic trip to Rome, but Rob continued with his plans to propose to his girlfriend of seven years, to which she said yes.

On the Go Fund Me Page, Ben said the friends wanted to support a ‘strong and beautiful woman’.

He said: “Charlie is one of the strongest women I have ever met, I feel privileged to be her friend and would do anything for this amazing, crazy, intelligent young lady.

“Charlie jumps at the opportunity to help a friend out no matter how big or small, she lights up the room with only her presence and sees the best in anyone or anything. Charlie is an angel, a legend and one of a kind.”

Sidmouthian Charlie, 27, opened her first business, Devon Embroidery, in late 2017, following in the footsteps of her tailor grandfather to run a shop in the town.

Following her diagnosis she is the process of selling her Cross Lane shop.

Mr Rix said: “They now plan to make the absolute most of every day to come, however long that may be.

“I sat with Charlie and Rob, both smiling and laughing wanting to talk about anything positive going on in my life. When I asked the difficult question “Are you both doing ok for money?” ‘It’s not about the money.’ she said, ‘I’m just devastated that my business has to close.’ Since learning the awful news Charlie has made no mention of needing extra help, she asked for no special treatment.

“I couldn’t believe how selfless they could be even in the current situation they are in.

“Rob is now acting as Charlie’s full time carer, setting several alarms a night to provide Charlie with the right medication and care. This means at the moment they have to rely on support from family but of course the outgoings keep coming, household bills, shop rental, embroidery equipment hire and general living costs.

“We know there are so many families that go through this every day. The daily struggle of fighting cancer and trying to live a normal life. If we’re willing to give money to any people in need, surely those most deserving are the people that don’t ask for it. Donations of any amount will help make Charlie’s time as comfortable as possible.”

To donate visit the page here.

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