Living life, loving life whilst raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity
I'm Judy, and I'm so proud of how far I've come with the support of my family, friends and The Brain Tumour Charity. So much of my well-being is due to being able to invest time and energy into supporting others by helping with fundraising. I think that being able to take positive action in a challenging situation can really make a difference to oneself and others. To give you some idea about my journey, here's a little about my story.
In Aug 2012 after experiencing a number of seemingly minor symptoms I went to the doctor as the cumulative effect of these got me thinking that perhaps I had suffered a stroke especially as my Mother had suffered three strokes at a similar age.
To cut a long story short after various tests and scans I was told on the 20 September 2012 that I had a Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma. Lesson: listen to your body and don't think any symptom is too small.
On 29 September I had a big party for my 50th Birthday which I was determined to enjoy despite the worry of the diagnosis.
On the 23 October I had a stealth guided biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis. The biopsy left me with virtually no speech and the loss of much of my motor skills on my right side. Although these would comeback over time it meant that the tumour was too deep and could never be removed.
On the 6 December I started Radiotherapy which went on until till 21 January 2013.
I worked hard to get back to work and I am proud that I did return to work full time after returning on a part time basis in March 2013. My doctor said she had not known of anyone returning to work with my diagnosis. However ultimately the damage caused to my memory and speech combined with fatigue caused me to finally retire from work in July 2014.
I have been well since then and especially since my husband retired also we have spent much of our time enjoying holidays but also working to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity. We also attend the Romford Brain Tumour Group whenever we can it's a great source of comfort and friendship to us and I would recommend it to anyone going on a similar journey to mine.
We have raised over £20k to date via a number of different sources over the years.
The first event was the Great North Run when my three sons, my nephew and my husband raised £4.5k. It meant so much to see them do this for me. We also raised funds by supporting Bandana Days and collecting money at Waterloo station.
Our friends, The Old Street Rockers have held four live music events and are holding another one this Christmas and these have raised nearly £5.5k alone.
My husband ran the London Marathon in April 2017 and raised over £10k (including Gift Aid).
We enjoy our fundraising and are constantly surprised by the good wishes and generosity of family, friends and strangers. I have set up this fund as I wanted to share my story to encourage others who are embarking on or who are already on a similar journey.