A woman from North Lanarkshire was inspired to become a nurse after her mum died from a brain tumour.
Siobhan Cunning, from Coatbridge, lost her mum Christine Mann, 60, just two years after she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in March 2019.
Christine, also mum to Elaine, 37, and Martin, 39, had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and an MRI scan in 2016 revealed she had a mass on her brain.
Siobhan, who is now working with the charity Brain Tumour Research, said she was “angry” with her mum after she refused radiotherapy treatment.
She said: “After her diagnosis, Mum just progressively got worse. She was delusional at times, she had some falls and broke her wrist. What happened to her made me want to be a nurse.”
“We were told it was a glioblastoma and they wouldn’t be able to operate because it was in such a sensitive location.
On February 28 2019, Christine’s condition deteriorated, and she was taken to University Hospital Monklands, where she died days later on March 3.
Siobhan added: “I was eager for Mum to have the treatment and I felt angry with her, but it was her life and her choice. It was the way she wanted to do it and I respected that. Mum wanted to see how it went.”
Siobhan, 42, is now in her third and final year of studying nursing at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in Hamilton.
She is doing the 100 Squats or Star Jumps a Day in November Challenge with her eight-year-old son Sebastian to raise funds to further research into brain tumours.
She said: “Mum played such a big part in my decision to study, and I enjoy helping and looking after other people. Thankfully, Mum was alive when I got accepted from the university. I was so proud, and she was too.”
“The statistics for brain tumours are shocking and so little funding is given towards this devastating disease. Brain tumours should have the same importance as other cancers and more needs to be done to find a cure.
“When I told Sebastian I was doing this in his grandma’s memory, he really wanted to do it with me, and he’s now spurring me on.”
According to charity Brain Tumour Research, 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 the disease.
Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Siobhan and Sebastian for taking part in the 100 Squats or Star Jumps a Day in November Challenge, as it’s only with the support of people like them that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like Christine who are forced to fight this awful disease.
“I would encourage anyone who is able to take part in the challenge to do so. Not only is it fun, but it gets you fit whilst raising vital funds to help find a cure for brain tumours.”