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

“An optician’s appointment saved my life”

A mum-of-two is sharing her brain tumour experience to encourage people to be aware of their eye health and to get checked if something seems wrong.

Sarah Cardwell is working with Brain Tumour Research this National Eye Health Week to help raise awareness of the disease after a routine optician’s appointment led to the discovery of a brain tumour sitting on her optic nerve.

Within days of her diagnosis, in December 2018, Sarah had surgery to remove the craniopharyngioma. Unfortunately, the tumour returned in July 2019 and Sarah underwent further gruelling surgery. She now has annual MRI scans and her tumour remains stable.

Sarah said: “I put off going to the optician for ages. Now, I’m much more aware that a problem with your eyesight might be an indication of something serious. With hindsight, I wish I’d gone to Specsavers sooner. I’ve no doubt that routine check-up saved my life.

“After my surgery, I went back to the optician with a card and flowers, to say thank you for my quick referral to hospital. Even though it was scary at the time, without my urgent appointment, my brain tumour diagnosis may have come too late and the consequences don’t bear thinking about.”

Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “We regularly hear from patients who have been sent by an optician to their hospital eye clinic or even local neuroscience department for rapid diagnostic tests and treatment. Opticians are able to detect a build-up of pressure in the brain which can be an early sign of a brain tumour.

“We were so sorry to learn about Sarah’s ordeal but pleased that she is on the road to recovery, thanks to the swift action of her optician and the skill and expertise of the surgeons who treated her. We thank her for sharing her story to help raise awareness this National Eye Health Awareness Week.” 

Please donate to support vital research to find a cure for brain tumours: www.braintumourresearch.org/donation/donate-now

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