Jemma, who was diagnosed with a tumour a few years ago, is taking on the mammoth challenge to raise funds for brainstrust and help us provide the same vital support to others as we provided to her after diagnosis. Below, Jemma shares her brain tumour story, the reasons behind choosing Snowdon and why she needs to give something back to brainstrust.
“As a group of girls in their early 20’s, my 4 best friends and I have all individually been through a lot of ups and downs in our lives. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I say that being surrounded by best friends has made me a million times stronger. Especially over this past year. Without these girls I wouldn’t be climbing Snowdon and raising money for a charity which has gone above and beyond to support my family and I over the past few years, ever since my brain tumour diagnosis.
After 8 years of mystery symptoms and numerous doctors’ visits, the cause was eventually found and just before my 18th birthday I was diagnosed with a ‘Low Grade Glioma’. The best option at the time was to watch and wait and this worked for me as I still had 3 years of university ahead of me, and the risk of surgery outweighed the benefits. After an amazing year of travelling and working in Australia I came home and my symptoms seemed to worsen. For the first time since the diagnosis, living with a brain tumour was really getting me down and I was so tired of fighting it. This was then explained by an MRI scan showing that there was a change in the tumour, so the decision was taken away from me and it was removed within a week, in June 2014. Thankfully the biopsy results were the best we could have hoped for and showed the tumour was a Grade 1 Polycystic Astrocytoma.
I am extremely grateful for the support from such an amazing charity, brainstrust, who have really helped my family and myself live with this life changing diagnosis.
So in order to give something back, I am taking on the challenge to climb Snowdon on the 7th March, something this time last year I really could not have predicted I would have been doing. But for me the climb is demonstrating the mountain I have been climbing for the past few years, and now I’ve reached the top.”
Visit Jemma’s JustGiving page to support her Snowdon climb and donate to brainstrust.
If you, like Jemma, want to take on a challenge for brainstrust, visit our events page and sign up today. Your fundraising will help us build a support service for more people in the UK who are living with and beyond a terrifying brain tumour diagnosis.