My name is Lisa, and this is my story about an accident that saved my life.
So it was back in 2010 and I was happily twirling around on the ice rink as I did several times a week. I was training hard and was preparing to compete as an adult figure skater, something I wanted with my whole heart and something I loved more than anything.
I was training one morning and had a very nasty fall, I have had many falls as it’s the nature of the sport but not like this. Mid spin I fell and hit my head causing a concussion and a nasty cut to my head. To cut a long story short I had trouble with my speech and was taken to hospital twice and the second time being the one where it would ultimately change my life there and then.
I had a CT scan and something was noticed, not something in relation to my fall. I wasn’t told anything only that I had to return the next day for an MRI and that a team at Hull Royal Infirmary were looking over my scans. I had the MRI and then was asked to see a consultant . Together with my family we visited and I was told these words:
“You have a brain tumour”
How can I have a brain tumour I thought to myself, I feel fine?
Apart from a thumping head and black eye from my fall I was fine. I was healthy, and I was happy.
It never sunk in at all. They actually wanted to operate the next day but I just couldn’t take it all in so 9 days later I had the surgery to attempt to remove the tumour in full. My wonderful surgeon Mr Rajaraman is a man I will never ever forget and a man I owe my life to. He removed 90% of the tumour and even saved my hair, it would have been so much easier for them to shave it but he saved it as I love my hair. He was so kind to me and my family and still is to this day when I get to chat with him for my yearly reviews.
After a week in hospital I returned home and was on 3 monthly scans. A week after my hospital stay we went back for the biopsy results of my tumour. Mr Rajaraman had said from day one he was fairly sure it was benign and he suspected it was a rare tumour called a Central Neurocytoma. Well he was right! A tumour predominantly found in young adults with no genetic link. Mainly benign and with a low grade and low chance of return.
He said as he wasn’t able to remove it all that I would be eligible for a specialist treatment in Sheffield called Stereotactic Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. Fine rays are fired using a specialist machine to kill tumour tissue and preserve healthy tissue. After meetings at Sheffield I was accepted for this treatment and it took place the following year in 2011 when my skull had almost healed. Sporting a metal frame screwed to my skull I had 16 doses of radiation over 2 hours that ultimately killed off the rest of it. I’m so lucky to have had my fall and for the care I received. I wanted to say thank you for the team at Hull’s hard work so I organised an all night ice skate for the Neurology endowment fund at Hull Royal Infirmary and a huge team of us raised just under £7k in one night. It was amazing.
I now live with no recurrence and have my scans yearly to check all is well. I am happily married with a beautiful little girl and thank whoever was watching over me up there back in July 2010 when I had my fall. My family were my rocks throughout all this in particular my mum and Dad and my sister Nichola.
Me with my husband Steve in 2017
I have met some lovely people along the way who offered support to this shell shocked girl who had the biggest shock of her life. Two being my friends across the pond. Californian Abel and Canadian Erin. Both like me with the same rare tumour. Fate brought us all together over the info superhighway and ultimately Erin and Abel fell in love and are now married. I celebrated with them from this side of the pond and I couldn’t have been more proud to have witnessed their love story and had their wonderful support. I will meet them one day, I have to.
So when I was asked to take part in this wonderful fundraiser by Janey Kay Photography, through a mutual friend Claire, I just couldn’t refuse.
Wear a Hat Day is a national fundraising day. The day is all about grabbing your favourite hat and raising funds to bring us closer to a cure for brain tumours. People from all over the country take part whether in local schools, workplaces or simply at home with family and friends. Janey organised a Portrait Session at the Best Western Oaklands Hall Hotel where ladies signed up to take part, give donations and share their photographs to raise awareness and gain the support from friends and family to spread the word on Brain Tumour Research.
Local milliner, Michelle from Hat and Brolly Boutique supplied her fabulous creations for this event and Chequers Boutique , a beautiful occasion wear shop in Cleethorpes provided the frocks. The photoshoot took place on 11th March 2018 in readiness to display the finished portraits for publishing to raise funds. Once the ladies had all had their hair and make-up done by Natalie, and the very lovely Maggie Swanwick who travelled all the way from Spain to take part! …the portraits were taken in the hats and lots of fun was had by all. The photographs are shared here and on Social Networking in readiness for 29th March 2018 the national fundraising day so please please give generously.
Below: Fun on the day
Please support this wonderful cause and help fight this terrible illness that claims the lives of so many. I am one of the lucky ones, there are many more that are not so lucky.
You can donate by following the link to the fundraiser here:
Or Text JKPH 49 to 70070