Northampton woman celebrates five years' survival after she was told she had 15 months to live
A Northampton woman who was once told her cancer gave her only 15 months to live is celebrating five years' survival next week.
Rosie Wilson, from Weedon, had only just married her husband when she was told she had a massive incurable brain tumour in 2014.
After suffering from what were revealed to be frontal lobe seizures, the then 31-year-old was told she had a 6cm-wide tumour spreading across her brain.
At the time, Rosie and her family feared the worst. The tumour was diagnosed as aggressive glioblastoma multiforme -which has an average survival prognosis of 12 to 15 weeks.
She said: “I was absolutely devastated. Dave and I had only recently got married and were looking forward to growing old together. Now I was being told that I had a maximum of 12 to 15 months to live.”
But now, 36-year-old Rosie is celebrating five years of survival on September 11.
Rosie, a former children’s nanny, who now volunteers for Weedon Music Fun, a music group for children, is working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness.
Her treatment included surgery to debulk the tumour, followed by a six-week course of radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy. After a break from treatment, Rosie underwent a course of six months of chemotherapy. Having had to give up her driving licence, she relied on kind friends to take her for her daily hospital appointments.
Rosie added: “I was lucky enough to be included in some observational research of a cocktail of cheap, repurposed drugs through the private Care Oncology Clinic in London. I firmly believe this is the reason for my long-term survival. Less than 20% of patients diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.
“It is also a grim fact that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“I was very proud of my brother Tim Garrett when he abseiled down the Northampton Lift Tower earlier this year for Brain Tumour Research. It is vital that much more research goes into finding better outcomes for brain tumour patients and ultimately a cure.
“More also needs to be done to raise awareness, as well as challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours.”
Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the Central region, said: “We are very grateful to Rosie and Tim for their support. Rosie’s story reminds us that brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. Together, with the help of fantastic supporters like Rosie and Tim, we will find a cure.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns 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, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.