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After attending A&E and speaking to her GP and finding nothing wrong, Emma Bond who is 29 and from Newton-Le-Willows, was sent for an MRI scan, which revealed she had a grade two tumour growing in her brain, causing her to hear music.
“It was so bizarre, all of a sudden I started hearing music after we’d been celebrating our joint hen and stag do. I thought I was going mad, it felt like people were singing lyrics to me!”
Emma was immediately referred The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust for neurosurgery, where 95% of the tumour was removed. The remaining tumour was treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which she received at The Clatterbridge Cancer NHS Foundation Trust.
Emma continued: “I had my surgery the week before I was due to get married. I was over the moon that my surgeon was able to take almost all of the tumour out, when at first they thought they would only be able to take out about 80%.
“The care and support I’ve received from both hospitals has been incredible, I can’t thank them enough. Even through all the changes because of the pandemic they have been attentive and helpful.”
Emma’s surgery involved using the Intraoperative MRI, which involves scanning a patient during a procedure, rather than having to wait afterwards, meaning more of the tumour could be removed in one operation. This ground-breaking technology was donated to The Walton Centre by the Marina Dalglish Appeal in 2017.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre sees over 30,000 patients every year with solid tumours and blood cancer, offering treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In June 2020, the Trust opened its brand new, specialist cancer hospital in Liverpool, in addition to continuing to offer treatment from its centres in Wirral and Aintree.
“If you are experiencing unusual symptoms you are concerned might be cancer, please seek medical advice, as Emma did.
“Cancer care remains a priority for the NHS and whilst COVID-19 continues to put pressure on hospitals, we are working to ensure that cancer treatment can continue safely.”
Emma had six weeks of radiotherapy with Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral in 2019. During her treatment, staff would play songs chosen by her friends and family. Emma said: “Each day my Dad gave me a piece of paper to give to my super kind treatment team with three songs on. I had no idea what these were which meant I looked forward to each session – I started calling it ‘Radio’ therapy!
“I have spoken to the lovely radiotherapy team a few times since finishing that and I know they sometimes now recommend this to other patients. They were so supportive through that treatment.”
Emma and her fiancé Edd were so impressed with the two NHS Trusts that they dedicated 2020 to fundraising for them and Brain Tumour Research.
“I was so grateful for all the support both The Walton Centre and Clatterbridge were giving Emma, I just had to do something. So we came up with the crazy idea of me running a mile a day for a year and fundraise as we go! I’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve had from friends, family, colleagues and beyond, it’s been amazing.”
Edd completed his challenge on New Years’ Eve 2020, totalling 366 miles! So far they have raised over £8,500 and they’re aiming for £10,000 before they close the appeal in March.
Emma said: “It’s certainly been an interesting couple of years with surgery and then the pandemic and cancer treatment. But it’s shown me how much love and support is out there, and that the NHS has been working hard despite all the lockdowns! I’m so proud of Edd for his fundraising efforts and hopefully the money will make a difference for future patients.”
“Edd and Emma have been amazing, raising thousands of pounds to support staff and patients. Even through the many lockdowns of last year, fundraisers like Emma and Edd have come up with creative ways to support us – from virtual events to virtual running challenges. Thank you so much for your continued efforts.”
Emma and Edd’s fundraising page is still open until March, for more information go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EMMABOND007
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