When she was 36 weeks pregnant with twins, Kylie Weatherby woke up one morning feeling very unwell.
The 32-year-old ran to the bathroom and was violently sick before collapsing on the floor from a seizure.
Kylie thought she may have pre-eclampsia – a condition her mum had during her pregnancies – however a hospital scan soon revealed that these symptoms were actually down to a brain tumour.
Doctors allowed Kylie – who is originally from Norfolk but is currently living in Alabama – to continue with her pregnancy until May 28 2021.
Then on that date, at 37 weeks, her twins Luca and Malena were delivered by caesarean section.
But 10 days later, Kylie was taken to hospital with a headache and was rushed into surgery when it became apparent her brain was so swollen that it was squashing the tumour and causing a bleed.
This swelling meant it was not immediately possible to rebuild her skull, atacand medicina so Kylie was sent home wearing a helmet to protect her exposed brain – until the operation could be completed two months later.
However, it was the day before her surgery that Kylie found out her tumour was a grade four glioblastoma multiforme – an aggressive and fast-growing form of brain cancer.
As a result, the mum-of-two was immediately given chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
But despite the devastating diagnosis, just months later Kylie was told her cancer cells were no longer detectable as she showed no evidence of the disease in her body.
The 32-year-old is now being monitored with three scans every month and plans to move back to the UK, to be closer to her family.
Her mum, Barbara Hollands, is even preparing to take part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February fundraising challenge – inspired by her daughter’s battle.
Barbara, 59, says: ‘This is the first fundraiser I’ve ever taken part in but I think I’ll be able to do it.
‘The most important thing is to raise money for research because it’s only with continuous research that things will improve and it might only take something small to help those affected live that extra few years.
‘I’m hoping I’m not going to lose Kylie, but I also have to face the possibility I might have two babies to bring up at some point, but by doing this challenge I could help fund a breakthrough that could stop this disease from taking her away from me.’
Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: ‘We’re really pleased to hear about Kylie’s latest results and welcome the support of her mum, Barbara, in helping us to raise the funds needed to research better treatment options and outcomes for brain tumour patients and, ultimately, find a cure.
‘The statistics speak for themselves; brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. We’re working to change that.’
The charity is also campaigning for the Government, and the larger cancer charities, to invest more in research into brain tumours – in order to speed up new treatments for patients and to find a cure.
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