A woman who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain tumour has raised £8,000 for charity. The BBC reports that Catherine Heald from Northampton completed a marathon and a 274 mile bike ride despite undergoing treatment.
Ms Heald, 39, began to suffer from persistent headaches that grew progressively more severe, and then she noticed that she could feel her heart throbbing in her left ear. She was diagnosed with an ear infection, but the headaches returned and eventually she was admitted to hospital for a CT scan in June 2020.
The CT revealed a large mass inside her brain, and she underwent neurosurgery to remove it. This procedure was followed up with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Despite having a prognosis of just 12 months, Ms Heald has gone on to raise thousands of pounds for charity through a series of sporting challenges.
She said: “I came up with ‘Cat’s Crazy Charity Challenge’ – both my husband and my parents thought I was absolutely insane. I wanted to cover 1,206.20 miles to coincide with the day I was diagnosed (12 June 2020) over 17 weeks, which coincides with my last treatment date.
I had to combine cycling, walking and trampolining.”
She added “The headquarters of Brain Tumour Research are a 10 minute walk from where I grew up, so they are my local charity.”
Brain Tumour Research said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”
The charity reports that its petition to call for increased investment into research for brain cancer has reached a total of over 81,000 signatures.
During October, various charity events were held to raise awareness and funds for brain tumour research, including a crew of pirates on the Isle of Wight. A group of ten friends dressed up as pirates of the high seas and toured the pubs and restaurants of the island to collect donations.
Captain Steve Usher explained that the fancy dress fundraiser was inspired by the experience of one of their friends, who has been fortunate enough to survive a brain tumour diagnosis. He has since had to wear an eye-patch, which made him feel self-conscious, so his friends decided to join in.
Usher said: “We weren’t going to let him wallow for long and told him not to lose his sense of humour. To get him over it, we press-ganged him to the Isle of Wight for a fancy dress pirate weekend, seafarer’s logic leading us to believe he wouldn’t stand out if we were all wearing eyepatches.”
So far, the gang have managed to raise over a thousand pounds for charity.
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