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Millie’s blog – experiences of growing up with a parent who has a brain tumour diagnosis

Keen to help others, Millie has shared advice and tips for other young people, who may be growing up with a parent who has a brain tumour diagnosis.

Nicola lives in Essex with her daughter, Millie (14) and her husband, Matt. Nicola was diagnosed with a Ganglioglioma in February 2017. After 7 years of symptoms, her tumour was finally discovered by a 4th neurologist. All elements of Nicola’s life as a single parent, student and employee at a firm in London were affected.

Nicola’s daughter, Millie, has been aware of everything since it all began 10 years ago and has bravely shared her experience of having a parent affected by a brain tumour. Keen to help others, Milllie has shared advice and tips for other young people, who may be going through a similar situation.


Hi! My name is Millie, and my mum has previously been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

I enjoy performing and watching lots of tv shows/films! I also enjoy going to the gym and playing for my football team as a midfielder.

My goal in writing this blog is to make sure that people know that they are not alone and never to give up, because there is always hope!

When I was about 5-6 years old, I found out that my mum supposedly had epilepsy; then later on - found out that it was actually a brain tumour.

One time at school when I was at my parents evening with my mum and dad, I noticed that she was having a seizure. This wasn’t easy as not very many people knew about what mum had at the time; which caused for some odd looks from various people. Dad and I knew what was happening, so we informed the teacher that we were talking to, not to panic (because you could tell that she was about to ask what’s wrong). Thankfully, she was very understanding and offered her support whenever I needed it. I am pretty sure a few of my friends noticed something was up too - but they didn’t know at the time either. This was quite frustrating because it’s never a good feeling when you can feel multiple people sniggering about you behind your back. However, I learned to just block them out - and eventually I told them what mum had anyway, and they were very supporting.

When I was about 5-6 years old, I found out that my mum supposedly had epilepsy; then later on - found out that it was actually a brain tumour.

During the week of my mums major operation, I was having my Year6 SAT’s - which, at the time, were the most important exams I had ever taken; as it would determine which sets I were in for the start of secondary school. I was so worried and stressed about everything with mum, so I was determined to do well. This means that I had to study hard. The most important thing to help keep me focused, was to still do the same amount of what I would usually do with the things I love : acting, singing, playing football etc. This helped me through it because not only was I taking time out of my day to study, at the same time I was doing things which make me happy. For me, this ensured me to get high grades on my SAT’s. This made me feel so proud of what i have managed to overcome - and the feeling of mum being proud made it 1000x better.

I ended up having lots of support from friends, family, and teachers etc. Even if you might not have this type of support, you are never alone and you can always talk to any of the people from this charity - because they will listen and be understanding of what you are going through. By being determined and persevering, no matter what the circumstances, you can stay strong and be the amazing person that you are! ❤️

Millie


The Children and Families Team offer individual online and telephone support and are always here to listen and help you find any information you might need.

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About the author

I’m a member of the Children and Families Team at The Brain Tumour Charity and previously practised as a Speech and Language Therapist, working with children of all ages. I’m dedicated to supporting children, young people and families affected by a brain tumour by being there every step of the way to provide help, understanding and support, when it’s needed most.

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