The ‘Purple Heart Brain Tumour Fund’ came about after a young professional based in Manchester, Lyndsey Roughton was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour in November 2009.
The charity name derived from the ‘Purple Heart Medal’ given to brave USA soldiers who have been wounded or killed whilst serving their country. The family therefore decided that as a survivor of a Brain Tumour and the manner of which she has dealt with the disease, always fighting on, she is one of those brave soldiers.
With the help of the ‘Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust’ http://www.braintumourtrust.co.uk/ (SDBTT) and their umbrella charities we were able to form the ‘Purple Heart Brain Tumour Fund’. As an ‘Umbrella Group’ of SDBTT we are able to raise money under the name of the ‘Purple Heart Brain Tumour Fund’, all monies are paid directly to the SDBTT to aid with brain tumour research, as well as research into treatments and trials in child and adult Brain Cancers.
Along, with the fact that Lyndsey had been diagnosed as having a tumour and after attending a SDBTT seminar in London, the family discovered that funding for research into brain cancers was minimal, of the 18 cancer categories’, brain tumours were listed as number 16, it also indicated that donations to other cancer charities eventually only gave 1% of those donations to brain tumour research. Something has to be done. So, the family raises money in any way they can to help raise awareness of Brain Tumours.
Lyndsey is 27 years old, who grew up in Cirencester, attending Deer Park School going on to Cirencester College, taking on her first job in Cirencester to then moving to Manchester where she became a professional in HR. She is fiercely independent and has lead for most of her adult life a hectic and full on lifestyle.
Lyndsey loves music and has travelled all over the world clubbing and dancing the night away (I’m not sure that is how she would describe it). During all this travelling she has been lucky enough to meet some extremely popular DJ’s, and in recent months was pondering on a change of career, to a DJ Manager. So in her spare time (not that she ever had any) she would travel to Manchester Airport picking up Dj’s and looking after them until they needed to go home. (great job – who wouldn’t want it?)
On 4th November 2009, Lyndsey was diagnosed (after a routine check up at the opticians) with a Right Frontal Lobe – Glioma (a brain tumour), it was benign. It was a slow growing tumour that the consultants say had been growing for a number of years. Lyndsey had had a few symptoms; headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, but being a young woman and enjoying the music scene, late nights and alcohol masked the severity of her condition, she put it down to her lifestyle.
Lyndsey was determined right from the beginning that she was going to beat this disease, and always remained positive whenever it was discussed.
An operation was scheduled for 24th December (Christmas Eve) to debulk (as its called the tumour). Everything went well and 3 days later Lyndsey was home. Looking like she had just been beaten up, but recovering really quickly. No Other treatment was required. Everything was going fine, and MRI scans were scheduled for every 3 months, all was clear nothing was showing on the scan.
Then, a year to the date of her operation 24th December 2010, Lyndsey received the devastating news that the tumour had come back, it was in the same place, but it was now malignant Grade III – ‘Oglioastrocytoma”. An operation was scheduled for early January 2011 to again remove the tumour. The surgeon removed as much as they could, but there was a tiny bit they could not reach without causing damage, so this time Lyndsey would have to endure ‘Radiotherapy’ after the operation to see whether that would keep the tumour at bay. Intense ‘radiotherapy’ started in April 2010, everyday for 8 weeks, it was a grueling experience, and bizarrely Lyndsey did gradually lose her hair, but only on one side of her head, she wouldn’t shave it and strategically wore bandana’s to hide her baldness. She dealt with it remarkably well, for a young woman, who initially, said ‘I don’t want to lose my hair’.
The radiotherapy, seemed to work, it had receded so much that the consultants were only able to see the minutest shadow on the scan, which they could not determine whether it was scar tissue from her operation. So scans were scheduled for every 3 months, and as usual Lyndsey took all in her stride and smiled through it. On the 7th December Lyndsey received the happy news that her tumour was gone, what a relief she felt. She was able to have a happy Christmas, without being in hospital and everyone focusing on her situation.
Life was good; Lyndsey was living it to the full. Then things started to change, the headaches came back, standing up was making her fell sick, and she just wasn’t able to get out of bed.
On 5th April (Easter Weekend) 2012, Lyndsey was rushed to hospital. Scans were done, and allsorts of tests too, only to be told that the tumour had returned. The news was not good; it was now on the left side, it was a malignant tumour Grade IV – Glioblastoma. The prognosis was not good; the surgeon explained they could not operate, as they felt it would affect her quality of life. Radiotherapy was not an option as it was so soon after her last lot of treatment. The only option available was chemotherapy, which they felt was now her only choice.
So, bravely Lyndsey started her chemotherapy on the 25th April, and has remained positive all the time, that she has had to take it. For someone whose future is so unsure, she is positive, determined and fighting the tumour all the way. She will not be beaten.
Her family and friends are currently fund raising tirelessly to send Lyndsey on a dream holidayto Vietnam, which she has been planning for, since before her 1st tumour was diagnosed. So August is when she plans to go away, and experience, such an amazing trip, with thanks to everyone out there who has been fund raising and donating money for her dream holiday.
Thank you xx