THIS is the emotional moment a mum with cancer rang a bell to signal the end of her radiotherapy treatment.

Brindusa (Brenda) Chirila, from Lymm, is undergoing treatment for bowel cancer, which spread to her liver after she unable to get a doctor's appointment during the first national lockdown.

The mum-of-one spent months trying to book an appointment, but it was only when the 42-year-old's condition worsened and an ambulance had to be called that she found out the severity of her situation.

Brenda's friend and colleague, Sue Dempsey, set up a fundraising page last year to help the family financially.

Sue said: "Brenda started with pain in about February or March 2020.

"It was more of a dull pain at the time and it wasn’t until April she started trying to get a doctor's appointment.

"Because of Covid she just kept being told there were no appointments, but she did in the end get a telephone appointment.

"She was given laxatives and with hindsight, you don’t give laxatives to someone who has got a tumour blocking their intestine.

"One night her husband had to call an ambulance when her pain was too much to bare.

"She was finally seen and over the next couple of weeks, after having scans and test, she was diagnosed with bowel cancer which had spread to her liver.

"The tumour had been growing and growing during lockdown - if only she'd been seen earlier and the pandemic hadn't impacted her trying to get an appointment."

Brenda had an operation in August, originally to remove the tumour.

Surgeons found it was too big to be removed, so she started chemotherapy in an effort to shrink the tumour and stop it spreading.

Warrington Guardian: BrendaBrenda

Brenda's treatment has so far included 12 weeks of chemotherapy, five doses of radiotherapy, and she has now started another 12 weeks of chemotherapy.

On January 19, Brenda rang a bell to signal the last day of her radiotherapy treatment.

"Watching her ring the bell was very bitter-sweet," Sue said.

"It was emotional for what she had achieved and the horrendous time she has had with the side effects and the pain she is enduring.

"But, it also signified the new treatment coming, which meant she would be feeling even worse with everything the treatment throws at you.

"After starting the chemo again, she's feeling really awful again.

"After this round of chemo that has currently started, she will be having a scan to see whether the radiotherapy and chemo has done its job in reducing the size of the tumours."

Sue's GoFundMe page has so far raised £4,750 to help support Brenda and her family while she is unable to work.

"The money from the fundraiser has helped tremendously," Sue said.

"Brenda and her husband managed to make it a special Christmas for their daughter and for now they are just managing to keep on top of their rent and bills.

"But the fundraiser has started to slow down.

"We are still accepting donations because bills just don't stop coming in when you have cancer and anything anyone can donate would be amazing.

"Keeping everyone updated with the GoFundMe page is important to the family and myself, as people have been so generous and messages of support have been sent from people all over the world who are saddened to hear what she is going through but are sending her strength and love.

"Brenda reads every one of them and that's why it's important to keep people informed."