In February 2005, Rebekah was a fit and healthy 27 year old, working as a volunteer with orphans in Peru, when she suffered multiple seizures in her sleep. Though so far away from home, this probably saved her life as had she been at home, where she lived alone, the consequences could have been very different. Fortunately, her room mate raised the household and she was rushed to a private hospital – thanks to her travel insurance – and subsequent scans revealed a tumour.
She was eventually flown home and admitted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, where the Grade 2 tumour was successfully removed, and over the next few years was gradually able to resume a normal life whilst being monitored with regular scans. Her inspirational courage and determination throughout this time was witnessed by all who knew her and there followed several fund-raising events to raise money for both Astrofund (supporting research into low-grade tumours) and The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust. Rebekah also completed the London Marathon in 2010, raising £3000 for another charity close to her heart due to her devotion to young children – Children with Leukaemia.
“The fact that brain tumour research only receives 2% of the whole cancer research budget is nothing short of shocking and highlights how important it is for us all to raise the awareness of this devastating disease that afflicts so many people like Rebekah”
Everyone who knows Rebekah will have experienced her genuine kind, unselfish and caring attitude towards others, and her happy nature often belies the fact that she lives on a daily basis with the threat of her tumour returning. Sadly this was the case in October 2011 when the tumour returned and was successfully removed, but diagnosed as more aggressive at Hurstwood Park Hospital in Haywards Heath. Fortunately she was given gliadel wafers at the time of surgery and this was followed by radiotherapy. She probably experienced her worst time during this period as the programme of steroids had to be repeated and led to quite severe mobility problems, very bravely born. With the help of some very loyal friends, family and an adorable little dog, she has once again turned her life around. She is currently scanned every six months and getting on with her life with her usual happy attitude, continuing to help and support others along the way whenever she can.
Rebekah and family continue to be overwhelmed by the ongoing support and generous donations from friends and family all over the world, and have had much fun over the years with many different fund-raising events. The Brain Tumour Charity is run by a highly professional team and is funding excellent research projects which have already made big differences to treatments and prognosis in the complicated world of brain tumours. The fact that brain tumour research only receives 2% of the whole cancer research budget is nothing short of shocking and highlights how important it is for us all to raise the awareness of this devastating disease that afflicts so many people like Rebekah. The charity is also extremely pro-active in their support of those affected, being a constant source of inspiration and encouragement. Without supporters efforts, none of this would be possible, so we want to thank everyone involved from the bottom of our hearts and we hope the day isn’t far away when our life-saving Consultant Neurosurgeons are able to offer every man, woman and child the chance of hope and a full recovery.