Since we began organising our Wear A Hat Day event, we are amazed by how many people know of somebody who has had a brain tumour and yet it is astounding that the research allocation for this cancer is only 1%, so concerned is the public and even MPs that there is currently an  All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) gathering evidence and working to get this changed. Research is the crucial first step in developing treatments and ultimately cures, without this work Natalie of BluMandala would not be attending our event and providing you with Indian delights and a touch of relaxation. On hearing that we were supporting Brain Tumour Research, Natalie immediately contacted us and offered to help and here is why……

” I was 15 when I was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour, they had to operate straight away due to the tumour causing Hydrocephalus (build up of fluid on the brain). The operation was an insertion of a shunt which would release the fluid into my belly.

I went through several operations mainly ones that would take a biopsy of the tumour but they kept failing due to my tumour bleeding at some point and all they kept getting was blood. My surgeon Mr Sparrow decided that he was going to do a new procedure on me where he would remove the shunt and create a third ventricle bypass through the front of my head just above the hairline so that it would not be visible! This was created to allow the fluid to drain naturally.

I had many MRI’s and CT scans to see were the tumour was and how they were going to proceed they decided that they were not going to attempt to remove it as Mr Sparrow thought it was too deep and to risky.

So I was booked in for Radiotherapy and I went through all the necessary procedures for this, but at the last minute Mr Sparrow decided that he was going to operate!

During the operation he managed to remove one of the tumours and take the majority of the other one! We didn’t know there were 2 lying next to each other until he did the final operation. During this traumatic time my mother never left my side she stayed with me every night. I am also really grateful to the many friends that would visit me along with my older brother and my dad who unfortunately had to carry on working abroad.

This was 21 years ago! And I have no problems really apart from getting tired and having a lazy eye occasionally this is brought on by tiredness or if I have too much to drink, but I can certainly live with that! ”

Thanks to Natalie for sharing her experience with us – It really does highlight the importance of keeping the momentum going. 21 years ago it was a new procedure that helped Natalie, yet Brain Tumours are still the biggest cancer killer for those under 40 years old – establishing why, how and what is an ongoing process and needs to be addressed.
To find out more about the event itself please visit our #WearAHatDay page – better still come along and see us.



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