My name is Sarah. In March 2018, I was diagnosed with a meningioma.
I live in a small village just outside Buxton in Derbyshire with my husband Paul. Paul is a keen FootGolfer, and this involves travelling around the country to different events and visiting new places. I enjoy going out for walks and spending time with my family and friends. I am also getting into photography and I love crafts and trying new things.
When I first found brainstrust
I felt so lost and confused after my diagnosis, and I was scared, as were my family. I was searching on the internet to try and find some answers and some help, as I did not understand what it was that I had, when I came across brainstrust.
After finding brainstrust and reading about other people’s contact with the charity, I knew it was going to help me if I got in touch with them, and I am so glad I did. I received help and advice straight away after completing the initial contact form.
I received the brain box, which I read about on the brainstrust Facebook page. It contained so many useful resources, as well as some lovely little touches of hand cream and teabags. I have also had a copy ‘My Fatigue Book’, which has been so helpful, as fatigue is one of the main things I suffer with. Reading through the book and making notes along the way is really helping me.
I have had email and phone support from Jodie, who is one of the support specialists. Whatever questions I have, or if I am struggling with things, I contact Jodie, who always helps me. We have recently started regular coaching sessions over the phone, as after my operation I was struggling with my confidence. Jodie has talked to me, listened to my worries and helped me to come up with ideas of how to rebuild my confidence.
I was originally due to have my surgery at the end of October 2018. After hours of waiting, it was suddenly cancelled. I got in touch with Jodie, as I just felt so down that I was having to go through the build-up again, after months of waiting, and she got back in touch with me straight away and offered her help and support. I feel like I can ask anything and Jodie will help me, or find a way to help me.
Doing something positive
Since my diagnosis, my husband and I have done a few different fundraising activities in order to raise money for the charity. We have organised raffles, set up a donation page, and in April we held a FootGolf charity day. My husband and some of our friends also took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks last October.
I said that after the support I received from brainstrust, I wanted to at least raise enough money to cover the cost of a few brain boxes, and now our fundraising currently stands at over £6,000. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would raise as much as we have. I am extremely grateful to everyone that has supported us in raising this money, as I know it will go towards helping other people that find themselves on this difficult journey.
Thanks to brainstrust, I now feel like I am part of a community and feel comfortable and confident whenever I have needed to ask for help. I stopped feeling lonely and scared, as I now know there is always someone who will help. When you hear the words ‘you have a brain tumour’ your life changes in a split second. Having brainstrust there has helped me to deal with it, and I will be forever grateful.