Ellie’s Story : Keeping active despite a brain tumour
The nature of my job at BTRS means that I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ellie Sayers a few weeks ago, learning about her brain tumour journey and how she manages to keep active despite it.
Ellie is from Castleford, she is 21 and living with a brain tumour. She was diagnosed almost four years ago after she had become very poorly on a holiday in Tenerife. Ellie told me that she spent almost the entire holiday asleep because she felt so tired, she was seeing black spots and felt very unwell. When she returned to the UK she ended up having to go to A&E where they conducted an emergency MRI scan.
Ellie was told that she had a brain tumour.
She went home for one night and retuned the next day. Days after being diagnosed she underwent emergency surgery, it was too dangerous to leave the operation any later. Whilst Ellie was recovering from her operation she discovered that she was pregnant. On leaving hospital she was faced with having to adjust to her new life with a brain tumour and a little one on the way. After six months recovery time, amazingly, Ellie went back to work until she left to have baby Finn.
When I asked Ellie how she manages the effects of her brain tumour she told me that she is quite in tune with what her body needs, whether that be rest or otherwise. This is such a huge thing to come up against. Brain tumour operations often lead to brain tumour injuries, the effects of which can be hugely varied and difficult to manage from person to person.
Despite all of this Ellie has been an active fundraiser for Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire (BTRS) and also key in raising brain tumour awareness. She organised a Music Festival Weekend at her local pub, raising over £5,000. But she wasn’t satisfied.
Ellie has signed up to do a skydive in support of BTRS. She was due to do it on 1st August of this summer 2018 but unfortunately she has had to postpone it as she has broken her ankle. If you were looking for a good definition of ‘active’ I think a skydive fits the bill! Ellie has adapted to her situation and tries to be active in whatever ways she can.
I wondered what motivates Ellie to keep active when she has such a busy life? First of all, she told me that she likes to keep active for her son Finn who is now almost three years old. Ellie takes Finn swimming and they do a lot of walking. As part of her fundraising efforts Ellie is planning to organise a sponsored fancy dress walk.
Ellie still has her brain tumour and it may be a number of years until it needs operating on again. This is something that she lives with but if you just met Ellie in the street, you would see a kind, motivated and intelligent young person.
Listening to Ellie made me realise the importance of understanding your own situation and being sensible with your physical activity. You should do what suits you! She also made me realise that if she can get out swimming, walking, skydiving (!) with a brain tumour and a young child then I can definitely get myself out for a run after work in an evening. Thank you so much for meeting with me Ellie, you really have shown me that ‘This Girl Can’!
Facebook: Emily Ankers – Leeds Girls Can Ambassador