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15
Mar
2019

Why I dedicated my birthday to finding a cure for brain cancer

Leanne enjoying some time with her son, Seth.
Image: Jayne Fouracres Photography

Four years on from receiving a life-changing brain cancer diagnosis, Leanne chose to dedicate her most recent birthday to help raise much-needed funds and awareness of the disease. The young mother did so by setting up a fundraiser on Facebook for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, a new and impactful fundraising initiative that's helping to bring us closer to finding a cure for this awful disease.

In a personal blog, Leanne outlines her experience with anaplastic astrocytoma, and how this has driven her help improve outcomes for others impacted by brain cancer.

Words by Leanne Storey.

Over several years, I had experienced unusually intense migraines and nausea, which impacted my sleep patterns, my capacity to work, and the time I had to care for my young son, Seth. 

I was joined by my husband, Damian, for my first visit to the GP. Given the symptoms I had experience, I was referred by my GP to have an MRI on my head and spine at the Bunbury Hospital, a two-hour drive from our home in Manjimup, Western Australia. The scan showed a deterioration of the vertebrae in my neck, and was determined as the cause of my headaches. I accepted this and got on with my life.

I suffered from a mental health breakdown in the following weeks, with anxiety and depressive states forcing me to resign from my job. During my time of need, my friends and family rallied around me. One of my close friends, who happens to be a volunteer ambulance driver, took it upon herself to take me back into hospital for another MRI. The scan highlighted a grade III anaplastic astrocytoma, which is a rare form of brain cancer.

Following surgery at Charles Gardner Hospital in Perth, I remained in a nearby recovery facility to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatment. This was for five days a week over the course of a month, after which I returned home for the rest of my chemo. 

In the four years that I have lived with brain cancer, I have carried the mindset that ‘this is not going to beat me’. Having lost my mother to bowel cancer, I don’t want my son to feel the same pain that I have experienced. 

Using Facebook, I decided to reach out to other people in my community who have been impacted by brain cancer. Being able to meet and interact with others with shared experiences had a massive benefit to my state of mind. It’s provided me with motivation to be proactive in the fight against brain cancer, and to raise much-needed funds and awareness of this insidious disease.

I decided to dedicate my most recent birthday to finding a cure for brain cancer by setting up a fundraiser for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation on Facebook, and I encourage you to do the same. Doing something is better than doing nothing!

In just a few clicks you can now fundraise for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation on FacebookWhether it’s a Facebook fundraiser for your birthday, in memory of a loved one, a special event, or to help raise awareness, you’ll be helping to move us closer to a cure. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductable and no fees are charged on donations. 

Fundraise for us on Facebook