Stourbridge woman diagnosed with brain tumour stars in charity’s Christmas advent appeal
A Stourbridge woman is helping to raise awareness of brain tumours by taking part in a charity’s Christmas advent appeal.
Katie Smith was diagnosed with a low-grade oligoastrocytoma brain tumour in 2015, aged 30, and given the agonising prognosis that she may not live to see her 40th birthday.
Just over two years later, when her son Eli was nine-months-old, Katie learned that her brain tumour had progressed to grade three and recategorised as an oligodendroglioma.
Now Katie, who set up a fundraising group called Brainstorm which has raised almost £67,000 for Brain Tumour Research, is sharing her story as part of an online Brain Tumour Research advent calendar to remind people why research into brain tumours is so important.
In her video which sits behind the December 11 door mum to six-year-old Eli, Katie said: “I am really lucky to be part of the 12 per cent who have survived five years beyond their original brain tumour diagnosis. Unfortunately, that means there are a huge amount of people who didn’t get those extra five years and didn’t get those extra five Christmases with their families.”
Less than 12 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 54 per cent across all cancers.
The calendar was launched with a message from Antiques Roadshow expert Theo Burrell, who is a Brain Tumour Research patron and patient.
It is hoped the poignant stories it contains will inspire visitors to make a donation to the charity, ultimately helping to find a cure for people like Katie and glioblastoma GBM patient Theo.
Katie, who was selected to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games last year in recognition of her fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, has supported many of the charity’s campaigns over the years, including Wear A Hat Day at the end of March, which is Brain Tumour Awareness Month.
She has also organised quiz nights, bucket collections, coffee mornings, car boots, cake sales and concerts, as well as participating in the Royal Sutton fun run in June this year with a team of 15 people, carrying an enormous, home-made pink top hat along the 8.5-mile route.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.
Melanie Tiley, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Please help us to raise awareness of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours this December and to raise vital funds to get us closer to our vision of finding a cure, thereby bringing hope to everyone affected by this devastating disease.
"You can watch Katie’s video and all those revealed so far, at braintumourresearch.org/advent-appeal and donate to give the gift of hope this festive season.”.