I was first diagnosed with a brain tumour, called an Astrocytoma, in 1986. I was 12 years of age.
I had a recurrence in 1988. These tumours were removed by operations and had a shunt inserted, which went from my head to my stomach. The shunt enabled my cerebral fluid to flow from my head. I have had further operations for revision of my shunt in 1991. A bone was taken out of the back of my neck or the base of my head, to help with a cyst in my head. I had an operation in Switzerland while on holiday, as my shunt had blocked and the neurosurgeon over there inserted a second shunt.
In 1998 there was another recurrence of the brain tumour. I have had an abundance of operations and even though a large part of my life has been spent in hospital, the support I received from family and friends kept me in good positive form.
I succeeded in getting my Degree in Philosophy and French in 2010. Today I have my own apartment and I work in University College Cork (UCC) where I teach French to students with disabilities. I am a Personal and Educational Assistant to a young woman in UCC, I invigilate (supervise) exams and I also volunteer as a peer mentor (helping students) in UCC.
Every illness has side effects. I have poor balance and double vision with a nystagmus. However having a very positive attitude helps to overcome obstacles.
I feel I am very fortunate to have succeeded as well as I have. The Brain Tumour Support Group in Cork as helped me in many ways.