“I first became aware of the Brain & Spine Foundation in September 2001, when I had been given a series of MRI scans primarily, before my actual biopsy diagnosis which was administered, when I had open back surgery 29th May 2002 for an accurate diagnosis.
Fundamentally speaking, I now recalled whilst attending the Neurosurgeon clinic at Leeds General Infirmary being given the Brain & Spine Foundation booklet regarding spinal cord tumours from a medical welfare officer.
On reflection, this was an absolute lifeline. I was told it was a rare Intramedullary spinal cord tumour and it was like a needle in haystack getting any sort of remedial support in my region of the country, due to the fact it was a rare tumour.
At the prime age of 35, I felt my world crumbling down around me and fear for the future of not being on this planet to see my young children become adults with the thought of undertaking a lifesaving spinal tumour surgery. I was inconsolable. I recalled a specialist nurse from the Brain & Spine Foundation who calmed me down, mopped up my tears and provided me with empathy. She was always there at the end of the telephone as counsellor and a confidante, in reassuring me all would be fine regarding my extensive surgery.
In 2002, after the trauma of nine years of being undiagnosed, then commenced extensive surgery plus six weeks of radiotherapy. I then promised myself, that my goal would be when I became stronger, I would raise money and awareness for the Brain & Spine Foundation. One of my finest moments, were with the help from family, friends, and synonymous companies’ contributions in September 2008 through an organised charity event, my wish was fulfilled. I was incredibly elated.
Since then, the Brain & Spine Foundation as continued to be close to my heart and every opportunity I had I would talk about the Foundation. For instance, when I decided I wanted to attend college again to do an English Language course we had to do a presentation. I chose to formulate my presentation based on the roll and topic regarding the Brain & Spine Foundation and spinal cord tumours. Again, the Foundation were instrumental in providing support and given out booklets to the students in my class.
Once again in 2017, the Brain & Spine Foundation came to my assistance, as I had a relapse and was in hospital for three months and home recovery. The Brain & Spine Foundation were always just a phone call away to help me and alleviate my anxiety, plus concerns.
Finally, since becoming a published author of “The Tapestry of My Life – A Poetic Portrayal of Harmony & Dissonance” in 2020, I have used my platform to promote awareness for the Brain & Spine Foundation and to help others who are in need and want to reach out.
I feel very honoured to be a part of the Brain & Spine Foundation.”