Jeanie and her family

Jeanie’s brain tumour story: “I was terrified for my family; The Brain Charity helped me regain control”

In May 2017, Jeanie suddenly collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital.

She had been experiencing dizziness, headaches and mood swings for 3 years, but put the symptoms down to the menopause.

After being tested at Warrington Hospital, doctors thought it was likely to be a single seizure only, and the 42-year-old was sent home.

But 2 days later, Jeanie was told she had 2 brain tumours in her brain’s left frontal lobe. 

The day Jeanie found out about her brain tumour

The day Jeanie found out about her brain tumour

Jeanie, a councillor at St Helens Borough Council, said: “I was terrified! At the time I was most worried for my family.

“I was the only wage earner, a carer for my husband and I had children going through GCSEs and university.

“I didn’t know how I was going to hold it all together to get us through it.

“Then we were in a period of waiting, it was the hardest of everything. You know that the tumours are in your brain, but you can’t do anything about it.”

Jeanie first started using The Brain Charity’s services while she waited our treatment – initially using our website to find information about brain tumours that she could trust.

The carer, from Newton-le-Willows, Cheshire, said: “Between diagnosis and getting my first appointment I didn’t have any information really.

“I felt out of control. The Brain Charity’s website helped me find that information that could give me control.”

In September 2018, Jeanie underwent an operation at The Walton Centre in Liverpool to have her tumours removed.

She had a full resection, which means 100% of the tumours were removed and there was no need for radiotherapy or chemotherapy afterwards.

Changing faces post surgery

Jeanie’s changing faces post surgery

But despite the doctors’ incredible work, there were some complications and she developed epilepsy.

St Helens had no brain tumour support group of its own, so Jeanie approached The Brain Charity about setting one up.

When the group launched, other isolated people who had not been able to travel to their closest group came forward to join.

Jeanie said: “The Brain Charity were incredibly supportive.

“Their CEO, Nanette, was great – she invited me in to have a chat with her, offered help and resources to set up a brain tumour support group in St Helens.

“Once we launched the group, it was really helpful to hear about other people’s experiences and it was useful for my husband too because he could talk to other spouses about their experience.

“We could support each other and if I knew one of them was struggling with something more specialised I could link them to the info team at The Brain Charity so they could have more help.”

Categories: Info & advice, Support groups

Published: 31 March 2021

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