A Rushden woman diagnosed with a brain tumour just months after the birth of her daughter is taking part in a Walk of Hope for charity.
Jess Richardson will be accompanied by Tracy Greer, also from Rushden, for the Walk of Hope along the Grand Union Canal on September 29 for Brain Tumour Research.
The pair met just after they both gave birth in Spring 2014 to their daughters, Isla Rose and Ella Mae, and have been best friends ever since.
Jess said: “Eight months after Isla was born, I started vomiting and experiencing bouts of double vision.
“I received a phone call the day after having an MRI scan which changed our lives forever, when I was asked to see my GP urgently, who broke the news that I had a brain tumour.
“I underwent surgery in November 2015, but the tumour, which was diagnosed as a slow-growing cavernous sinus haemangioma, was so entwined with nerves and the carotid artery that doctors were unable to remove it all.
“Everything was looking positive, however, so my husband Darren and I moved house, bought into a new business, got a puppy and changed our car.
“Sadly, our positivity was misplaced; a routine follow-up scan in June 2016 revealed the tumour was back and even bigger than before.
“In April 2017, after spending months on a waiting list, I underwent Gamma Knife surgery (also known as Stereotactic Radiosurgery) in Sheffield which was successful in shrinking the tumour by around two thirds.
“Two years ago, Tracy, who has supported me every step of the way along my brain tumour journey, and I, with our husbands and then two-year-old daughters and our three-month-old puppy, had a lovely day completing the Grand Union Canal walk for Brain Tumour Research.
“This year we have decided to do it again, but this time will be leaving the girls at home with their dads to enjoy a fun day together while we raise funds for this important cause.”
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, and just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease.
Milton Keynes-based Brain Tumour Research has organised the Walk of Hope along the Grand Union Canal for the past six years.
This year, six Walks of Hope will take place across the UK simultaneously on September 29, while a seventh took place along the Bridgwater and Taunton canal on September 8.
Participants can complete 5.5 miles or 11 miles.
Michael Thelwall, head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “The money raised will help us in our mission to build a network of experts in sustainable research.
“We are funding dedicated UK centres of excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
“We are extremely grateful for Jess and Tracy’s support and wish them all the best for their second Grand Union Canal Walk.
“Jess’s story reminds us that for too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer and we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.
“Sadly, less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers.
“We would encourage anyone that would like to take part, to get in touch.”
To sponsor Jess and Tracy click here