Why I am a regular donor
Claire, a Major in the British Army, was coming to the end of a tour in Afghanistan in 2008 when she collapsed during a charity run. The next thing she was aware of was waking up in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham having a ventilator tube removed, surrounded by her family.
“It was all a bit of a shock because before this all happened, I had not had any symptoms,” said Claire. “This was ten years ago, and prior to this, I’d barely had a headache.”
Claire was diagnosed with a Grade 2 Oligodendroglioma which was later re-diagnosed as an anaplastic Grade 3 Oligodendroglioma. After several surgeries (one to remove her right frontal lobe) and rounds of chemotherapy, she is left with fatigue, occasionally loses track of time, has medium term memory issues and struggles to process information, which prevents her from driving. She also has epilepsy which is now controlled with medication.
Claire became a regular donor to Brain Tumour Support in 2015 after she and her husband had attended our Support Groups for several years and also our Patient and Family Weekend in 2010, 2011 and 2012, where it was useful to have access to the specialists.
“My husband and I were made to feel very welcome,"said Claire. "The group members were really supportive and they put us at ease about the unknown.”
As well as conducting several bigger fundraising initiatives for Brain Tumour Support, Claire also gives £15 per month and is happy to know that the money will help the charity plan for the future.
“Being a regular donor makes me feel like I am making a real difference,” said Claire. “It gives Brain Tumour Support a regular income and keeps it ticking over.”
“I’ve had wonderful support from my husband and wider family and the Army has been very good to both of us. Brain Tumour Support has been there for us too – the Support Group was very beneficial and now I also use the charity’s Facebook Forum."
Claire now works three days per week in the Army Reserves as a staff officer and is no longer deployable. She is currently waiting for the results of a scan which will determine whether her treatment has been successful.