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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Teenager who endured DECADE of treatment back at school

Teenager Lily Hawkins was among those youngsters going back to school today. Lily is joining the sixth form at The Buckingham School where she hopes her A level studies will lead to a career in medicine.

The 16-year-old has been undergoing treatment for a life-threatening brain tumour for more than half her life. She passed her GCSEs with flying colours despite not having managed a full day at school since the middle of year 10.

She is sharing her story this September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, in the hope of inspiring others. Lily, who has had much of her care at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said: “I am in awe of my neurosurgeons. They do such a fabulous job, are so caring and are always happy to listen to my concerns and worries. I would love to become a doctor in the world of neuroscience.”

Mum Lorraine, pictured with Lily, said: “Lily has remained dedicated to fulfilling her dreams, despite all the setbacks she has endured over the last decade. To have done so well in her GCSEs is the icing on the cake, but so much deserved.”

It was Lorraine, a midwife working in the NHS, who first spotted the symptoms which led to Lily’s diagnosis. The youngster had started having headaches and then her mum noticed she was walking off balance and throwing her left leg out to one side. Initially diagnosed as dyspraxia, Lily had further checks when her headaches became excruciating and she was vomiting every morning. She had surgery twice in 2009 and has had numerous procedures over the years to insert and then correct problems with a shunt fitted to drain excess fluid from her brain.

Happily as she goes back to school today, Lily is feeling the best she has in a long time.

We wish her all the very best for her studies.

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