Holiday dreams for mum-of-five with devastating cancer diagnosis

Craig and Simone Callaghan, husband and wife, are trying to cope with her cancer diagnosis

Craig and Simone Callaghan have been married since the summer of 2020 - Credit: Craig Callaghan

Big birthday celebrations were only a week away when an Ipswich mum-of-five was given a devastating diagnosis. 

Simone Callaghan was about to turn 30 when she was told that she had stage four bowel cancer that had spread to her liver and kidneys. 

She had been telling doctors that something was wrong for months prior, but her husband Craig said she was told she was too young for her symptoms - notably blood clots when she went to the toilet - to be anything serious. 

He said: "They fobbed her off for two or three months before she was referred to hospital for a colonoscopy so when she got her cancer diagnosis it was quite a big shock. 

"And then when she finally got a scan it had spread. The consultant said that her liver is covered so much that he doesn't think any amount of chemotherapy will work. 

"She is going through three months of chemo but our doctor is expecting to move her over to palliative care afterwards."

Simone Callaghan at hospital for treatment for her cancer

Simone Callaghan was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer when she was 29 - Credit: Craig Callaghan

Craig and Simone have three children together and she has two from a previous relationship - and all range in age from 12 to two years old. 

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The couple also found out they were pregnant just after her diagnosis but she lost the baby as a result of the cancer treatment. 

"Being listened to earlier could've made all the difference to her situation. She might've already had the cancer but it's spread so quickly; if they hadn't taken so long it may not have been as bad.

"It's not acceptable to assume cancer is highly unlikely because she's so young. 

"We want people to know it's important to go and get checked, fight to get checked, because we never thought in a million years she'd be going through this. It's really hard."

Simone receiving her chemotherapy treatment for bowel cancer

Simone is undergoing three months of chemotherapy but the family aren't sure what comes next - Credit: Craig Callaghan

After moving back to Ipswich from Norwich to be closer to family, Craig is hoping to plan a trip a little further afield to bring the family closer together by raising £5,000. 

"All she's asked for is a holiday and she wants to go to America. I've started fundraising to try and take her there but my worry is I don't know how long I've got. We don't know how long she's got left. 

"We are also concerned whether or not we're going to be allowed to go. We don't know if she'll be allowed to travel, the treatment she's on, we just don't know. 

"The support given is the only thing keeping her going, I think. There's been a few times she's said she wants to give up, the chemo makes her really unwell, but with my family and her friends and the fundraising support has given her that little boost. 

"We just hope she gets to spend that little extra quality time with the kids before it's too late. 

"It'd be really lovely to give her a smile. Which is all I want."

Craig and Simone are struggling with the cancer diagnosis

Craig and Simone on their wedding day - Credit: Craig Callaghan

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