A nurse is taking on a marathon challenge for research into brain tumours after surviving the ‘devastating disease’.
Fern Cameron, 24, from Angus, first realised something was wrong in December 2020 during a night shift at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
She said: “My balance was awful and I was really clumsy, but I ignored it.
“Then I noticed that my eyes were getting increasingly worse and I had double vision. I went to the opticians and they said I had nystagmus, where my eyes were moving involuntarily.”
Ms Cameron’s mum, Karen Duncan, also spotted a shift in her mood as she was more short-tempered, and got wound-up very easily.
She received a referral to the neurology department at Ninewells Hospital for an appointment on January 5, 2021.
The neurologist confirmed that there was a problem, and an MRI scan revealed a mass on Ms Cameron’s brain.
Surgeons fast-tracked an operation on her brain to January 7, as the tumour was putting pressure on the brainstem.
While the operation went well, surgeons were unable to say with certainty if everything had been removed.
Finally, MRI scan in October 2021 gave Ms Cameron the ‘all- clear’, which crossed out the need to have radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
After five months off work, she returned to her nursing role at Ninewells Hospital last April.
Now, she is taking on the Jog 26.2 Miles in May challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
She said: “I just wanted to do something positive. I’m not a runner at all, but my sister Niamh runs a lot so she’s doing the challenge with me.
“There is such a lack of awareness about brain tumours and people don’t recognise the symptoms.
“I’m doing this not just for myself, but also for all people who are battling against this devastating disease.”
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.
Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Fern as it’s only with the support of people like her that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients who are forced to fight this awful disease.
“Unlike many other cancers, brain tumours are indiscriminate. They can affect anyone at any time. Too little is known about the causes and that is why increased investment in research is vital.”