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June 8th is World Brain Tumour Day. Last June, Kimberley found out she had a brain tumour. This is her story. 

On World Brain Tumour Day this year, we’ll be joining the call to raise greater awareness and understanding of brain tumours – to help people like Kimberley dealing with a brain tumour diagnosis.

World Brain Tumour Day 2024  

World Brain Tumour Day promotes better education about brain tumours and advocate for improved patient care. 

We are sharing Kimberley’s story because raising awareness about brain tumour symptoms is something she’s become passionate about since her diagnosis with an astrocytoma last summer. 

Kimberley’s Story

A woman stands with an alpaca

Kimberley Baggley, a primary school teacher from Stoke-on-Trent, was diagnosed with a Grade 3 astrocytoma tumour in June last year, after being found by her husband and young son, George, having a seizure in bed.  She had made four trips to see medics (twice to her GP, twice to A&E) that week.  Since then she’s had surgery, suffered serious complications, and undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  

Humour has been one of her ways of coping with the situation. She’s joined some of The Brain Tumour Charity’s online peer support groups and has found talking to someone else in the same situation completely invaluable. 

Astrocytoma diagnosis

“I didn’t know anything about brain tumours and was so care-free with life, it wasn’t something I had even dreamed would be the case.”

A brain scan - this is from Kimberley, who shared her story on World Brain Tumour Day

“Something just doesn’t feel right,” I said to my friend at work as I tried to see the day through whilst having the “headache from hell”. This wasn’t new, I had been on tablets for migraines since I was 13, but in the weeks before my diagnosis, they had gotten worse. I managed for a while, then my face started to tingle down my left side, “not now panic attack please!” I thought to myself. Another problem – anxiety. I had been told by doctors since aged 19 that I had anxiety. The lightheaded spells where the only way to describe how I felt was “out of it and in a blur.” 

Back in June last year – Tuesday was the day I left work at lunchtime and went home, to bed, where I spent the rest of the week. I contacted and went to the doctors and A&E a combined amount of four times. I was diagnosed and given a sick note for a week for a severe migraine. “You need to take time for yourself, go on a spa day” and “it’s definitely not a brain tumour” were all things said to me that week. I’d never even thought it could be! I didn’t know anything about brain tumours and was so care-free with life, it wasn’t something I had even dreamed would be the case. 
My husband convinced me to get out the house on the Saturday, insisting it would do me good. So we went out for dinner, sitting in the pub on the Saturday, I felt my face tingle – not again anxiety! My mother in law said “you just don’t look right, are you okay?” 

Fast forward to the Sunday, and the last text I sent my husband – (it was my turn to do the early morning swim session with our son).“Sorry I missed swimming, my head just doesn’t feel right! Xxx” My next memory? Paramedics, my husband, parents and brother all at my house – what was going on? My husband and five year old son had come home from swimming to find me having a seizure in bed. I was taken to A&E where I finally got the scan I had been asking and waiting for.”

Sure something was wrong, Kimberley had been pushing for a scan.

“You have a brain tumour.” The five words that changed our lives for the foreseeable future. In the week that followed I had a craniotomy, where the fantastic surgeons at the RSUH (Royal Stoke University Hospital) removed 95%’of “Richard” – my unwanted guest. Since then, I have had another operation to remove part of my skull as a result of an infection after the operation, fought sepsis from the Hickman line that was put in place, and completed sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. 

“I guess the reason for sharing my story is to encourage anyone to know their body, know the signs of a brain tumour and if there’s the slightest feeling of “something’s not right” trust your instincts! With the amazing support from the neuro surgery team at the Royal Stoke Hospital and so many external services, I have stayed positive and I am getting back to being me.

Treatment is going well at the moment. I’ve enjoyed some family days out and a holiday to Windsor which has been lovely. 

“Richard may have started this fight – but I am going to finish it!” 

Kimberley pictured smiling and pointing to her top, which reads 'Winging It'. Kimberley bravely shared her story on World Brain Tumour Day

Sharing my story to raise awareness

In March, Kimberley shared her story in Metro in support of our No Brainer campaign.

Share your story

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a brain tumour, it can take time to absorb the news. But we often hear from individuals who say they’ve reached the point where they’d like others to learn a bit about what they’ve been through in case they find themselves in similar circumstances. It can also help to share your story if you are involved in fundraising or awareness raising activities. If you decide to do this, if and when the time is right for you, we are hugely grateful.

You don’t need to wait for World Brain Tumour Day. Share your story today: