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Grantham Specsavers launch raffle for mother of two in Dysphagia battle

Staff at an opticians have launched a heartwarming initiative to aid a colleague's daughter.

Becky Chappell, a mother of two, has been battling dysphagia for 10 years, severely affecting her health.

Dysphagia, causing difficulty in swallowing food and drink, has previously left Becky in critical condition, prompting her to seek private treatment.

Left to right: Katie Eales, Lorraine Davison, with Becky sat in front, Karla Brame and Molly Bartram.
Left to right: Katie Eales, Lorraine Davison, with Becky sat in front, Karla Brame and Molly Bartram.

The fundraising effort by colleagues at GranthamSpecsavers in the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre, aims to support Becky, a mother of two, grappling with dysphagia for a decade.

With NHS avenues exhausted, the family is now turning to private treatment for a chance at improvement.

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Becky's plight struck a chord with the colleagues of her mum Lorraine Davison, who has worked at the Grantham Specsavers for 20 years and is currently the contact lens manager.

Karla Brame, a supervisor at Specsavers Grantham, said the team is determined to act in response to Becky's worsening condition.

Alongside optical assistants Katie Eales and Molly Bartram, they orchestrated a raffle featuring an array of prizes generously donated by local businesses.

“As a team we have seen first-hand how Becky’s condition is affecting both her life and the lives of her children and her wider family,’ said Karla.

“A few of us know Becky personally and it is heartbreaking for us all to see how much she has deteriorated.

“We knew we couldn’t just sit back and do nothing,” she added.

She also noted that staff were “blown away” by the support of local businesses.

“We are so happy to be able to help in any way we can.

“It will also give our colleague, Lorraine, much needed peace of mind that her daughter will get the treatment she desperately needs,’ Karla said.

Lorraine thanked everyone for their support.

“I was so touched that I actually cried when Karla told me what their plans were,” said Lorraine.

“We are all so grateful to everyone involved from those who have donated prizes to everyone who has made a donation so far.

“We want to thank them for their kindness and generosity, it really gives us hope for Becky’s future.”

The raffle, ending on March 12, offers vouchers for beauty treatments, dining experiences, and more.

With each £1 raffle ticket strip, participants contribute to Becky's journey towards potentially life-saving treatment at a specialist clinic in Harley Street, London.

Specsavers Grantham's store director, Colin Ducker, urged the community to rally behind the cause, underscoring the significance of every contribution.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support so far. We’re inviting everyone – family, friends, colleagues, customers and the local community to get behind the fundraising,” said Specsavers Grantham store director, Colin Ducker.

“Every pound raised will make a huge difference.”

Becky Chappell.
Becky Chappell.

Back in December, Becky told the Grantham Journal about her decade-long struggle with dysphagia, a condition that has left her in dire straits.

She recounted being hospitalised for four days in June due to severe malnutrition and dehydration resulting from her difficulty swallowing food and drink.

Despite numerous appointments with the NHS, Becky's condition continued to worsen, pushing her to seek private treatment as a last resort.

Describing herself as "desperate" to witness her children grow up, Becky reluctantly turned to crowdfunding, setting a target of £700 to cover initial consultations.

“I'm trying to raise funds to basically save my life,” said Becky.

“I am severely underweight (6 stone 12 and 5 ft 8), I have dysphagia and it is killing me to put it bluntly.

“I have two beautiful young children who need their mummy and I have gone down every road with the NHS”

The response exceeded expectations, with over £1,700 raised. Anyone wishing to support Becky can do so either in-store, or by visiting Becky’s GoFundMe page.

Despite her ordeal, Becky remains hopeful, exploring avenues such as allergy testing, which she struggled to access through the NHS.

She bravely detailed the toll dysphagia has taken on her health, from severe weight loss to debilitating pain and circulation issues.

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