The diagnosis of a brain tumour is devastating, however there is hope. We have been fortunate to meet some very brave people who have survived to tell the tale and who want to share their story to give hope to others.
Recently published stories
Sara CroslandOn 20 February 2018, 44-year-old Sara Crosland’s life changed in unimaginable ways, when she was diagnosed with a 3.5cm acoustic neuroma, or vestibular schwannoma – a low grade brain tumour that affects around one in 100,000 people. Following a haemorrhage and major brain surgery that left her unable to walk, with impaired vision and balance, as well as permanent profound hearing loss, she has been focused on getting back everything the tumour took away from her, and much more. Eighteen months post-surgery and the active mother-of-three from Ellesmere Port is now accomplishing more than she ever thought possible. Read more
Maria Watson, 27, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013, after experiencing severe headaches and sensitivity to light and sound. The health food shop supervisor, originally from the Greek island of Crete, was left in a ‘watch and wait’ (active monitoring) situation until 2017, when she began waking up in the night, suffering with extreme pain and temporary hearing loss.Read more
In August 2009, Harry Broadbent was sailing in Cornwall when a consultant rang to tell him that a brain tumour was the cause of his epileptic seizures. Surrounded by strangers, 25-year-old Harry was suddenly faced not only with an uncertain future but with the distressing prospect of telling his partner and family. With the love and support of his wife, Harry has defied his original prognosis but the tumour casts a constant shadow over the life of his family.
“Back in Edinburgh, I noticed an NHS letter come through the letterbox and I asked Harry to open it to read the results. He hadn’t been able to tell me about that phone call yet, so when Harry sat me down and said ‘it’s not good news’, I was in complete and utter shock. Harry was so emotional…”Read more
Harry MockettMusician Harry Mockett, 20, from Northampton, was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma in May 2018, after suffering from vision problems. The tumour damaged Harry’s pituitary gland and he developed life-threatening complications from the surgery he needed to save his life. Thankfully, with the support of parents Sue and Ian, and sister Rosie, Harry is now doing well and is looking forward to releasing his debut EP ‘H.I.M.’ in June 2019. Read more
Harry St Ledger
Six-year-old Harry was diagnosed with a suspected diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) after what should have been a straightforward procedure to fit a grommet in his ear revealed a sinister growth in his brain. His tumour type has a shockingly poor prognosis and limited treatment is available. There is no option for Harry who will battle for his life dressed as Spider-Man, his favourite superhero.
“I am shocked to learn that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40, yet so many people still think it is leukaemia which is killing more of our precious children than any other form of this hideous disease. I am angry to think that Harry will have to live away from the security and comfort of his own home during treatment and I am frightened to think of what lies ahead.Read more
Heather TurnerHeather was 24 when she was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a low-grade brain tumour which caused partial hearing loss. The only treatment option was surgery but complications caused nerve damage leading to life-long difficulties including facial palsy and the loss of sight in one eye.
“It took me ten years to recover from the damage caused by surgery to remove my brain tumour. There have been times when I’ve wondered if life was still worth living. Although I have lost count of the number of operations I have had to make me look ‘normal’, I now feel as if the worst thing that ever happened to me has changed my life for the better.” Read more
Professional dancer Holly Dooley began experiencing mild seizures whilst on a tour of Russia. Having recently got married and looking forward to starting a family, her world was thrown into turmoil as it became clear from an MRI scan, that the seizures were caused by a tumour on the front right temporal lobe of the brain. Having endured numerous operations and radiotherapy over the last four years, Holly remains determined to stay positive and enjoy her life.
“It was time for my career as a professional dancer to end. I have achieved some amazing things over the years but having to close the curtain on the job I loved was heart-breaking.”Read more
Husband, father and grandfather Ian was 55 was when he was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour. He underwent surgery and was able to return to work but began to experience seizures, now controlled by medication, as the tumour grew back. No other treatments are available and further operation to de-bulk the tumour is seen as a last resort.
“Telling my children I had a brain tumour is, without doubt, the worst thing I have ever had to do. I can’t bear to see them upset and it makes me sorry to think that their lives are tinged with sadness because of me but, it is what it is; I am still here and determined to enjoy whatever time I may have with them. For a while the tumour was dormant and like a walnut in my brain but now it is growing once more. There are no other treatments other than a de-bulking operation which would be the last resort. In many ways I feel as if a breakthrough with a new drug is the only hope I have and that is why the research being funded by the charity Brain Tumour Research is so vitally important.”Read more
Iona Alford was just 22 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, but says that, despite the shock, in many ways it changed her life for the better. Following surgery to remove a rare ganglioglioma her prognosis is good and she is looking forward to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia.
“After my diagnosis, I changed my job and booked a once-in-a- lifetime trip to Australia for six months. Although it’s a big step, I’m so excited to start this adventure and I know my illness inspired me to take that leap. For many people, travelling is about finding yourself but, for me, it’s about putting myself back together.”Read more