Mother diagnosed with brain tumour for second time after being ‘fobbed off’ by doctors

Emma Fox, 35, was first diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma when she was 17

Ellie Forbes
Wednesday 08 February 2023 07:09 GMT
Related: The Signs & Symptoms Of Brain Cancer

A mother was told her brain tumour had returned after she had a seizure playing a computer game with her son – nearly 20 years after she was first diagnosed.

Emma Fox, 35, suffered a seizure out of the blue in 2021 and a scan later revealed her brain tumour had returned.

Devastated Emma, from Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales, said she will do anything to find a cure for the disease.

She said: “Although I have been told it’s unlikely my children will inherit the disease through my genes, I want to do all I can to stop anyone from going through what I have been through.

“I was playing a computer game with my eldest when I had my seizure.

“He’d witnessed these happen when he was only three and remembered exactly what to do as he has had to grow up with it.

“His courage and ability to deal with something like this makes me feel proud.”

Mother-of-four Emma was first diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma when she was 17.

She had seizures from just 10 months old, which were put down to febrile convulsions she developed migraines from the age of five which continued into her teenage years.

Surgery removed the mass in 2005 and regular stable scans meant no further treatment was needed.

Emma said: “I felt like I was being fobbed off by the GP and like no one believed me. It wasn’t until I blacked out from a seizure on the bus home from school that I had an MRI scan and found out I had a mass on my brain.

“In my 20s I was diagnosed with epilepsy, which I now know was caused by my brain tumour.”

Surgery removed the mass in 2005 and regular stable scans meant no further treatment was needed.

Stay at home mum Emma is now on a watch and wait scheme, with a follow up scan in June.

(Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)

She is taking on a month-long challenge to complete 10,000 Steps a Day in February, in aid of Brain Tumour Research. Motivated by her own story, Emma began her challenge on Wednesday 1 February and will tot up a total of 280,000 steps throughout the month.

She added: “I did it last year by doing four school runs, which was a great way of getting my steps in.

“This year I am down to three school runs so will have to be a bit more creative getting my steps in.

“For years I’ve kept my story to myself, and I’ve never complained about being ill or how I still suffer from the side effects of living with a brain tumour; but then I never realised how little funding brain tumour research receives.

“It’s the biggest killer of under 40s which is a scary statistic.”

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re grateful for Emma’s bravery in sharing her story and wish her well with her upcoming scan.

“Her story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age.

“It’s with the support of people like Emma that will help us in our mission to increase the UK investment in research in to brain tumours.

“We wish Emma luck with her challenge, and to everyone who is taking part.”

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