Julia Somerville presents an appeal on behalf of brainstrust, a charity that supports adults and children with brain tumours.
Browse content similar to brainstrust. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is Phoebe.
She's six years old.
When I draw a picture, I feel happy.
It reminds me of nice things.
Since she had an operation to remove a malignant brain tumour
in 2015, Phoebe and her mum Rachel have found ways to talk about it.
I'm a happy person,
even when we go through hard things, like my cancer.
SHE PLAYS: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
There was a big lump inside my head, about the size of a tennis ball.
And what happened to the lump?
It got taken out by the doctors.
Phoebe's dad Matthew
will never forget the call that came with news of Phoebe's diagnosis.
She'd been taken to hospital the day before with repeated vomiting
My phone rang and it was Rach.
It was terrifying and, although Rach didn't tell me on the phone
that it was a tumour, I could hear the fear in her voice.
25 years ago, I too heard the words, "You have a brain tumour,"
and I know how really frightening that is.
At the time, I had two young children aged eight and four
and, in fact, it was my daughter who came into the room and found me
in the throes of an epileptic fit, and that was how I was diagnosed.
I know that my brain tumour will get me eventually
but not for a long while yet.
Chris is 29 and, today, he's come to hospital for an MRI scan to
make sure his brain tumour isn't growing back.
Since having surgery to remove it two years ago,
he's had to come here for scans every four months.
It's extremely stressful.
I'm convinced that it's bad news every time.
It isn't every time so, hopefully, today's no different.
Chris discovered he had a tumour when his partner Holly
found him having a seizure in his sleep.
For Chris, today's scan is especially important.
At Christmas, me and my partner Holly
are going to head over to San Francisco.
It's going to be great family time but if I did get terrible news
on Monday, based on this scan, then who knows?
So, fingers crossed.
Having a brain tumour is a terrifying experience and
it can leave you feeling very alone and disoriented.
That's why I want to tell you about the work of Brainstrust.
It's the only charity in the UK
that offers personalised support
for people with brain tumours
and their families,
24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Every few weeks, all round Britain, Brainstrust organises events
like this one, for people who've experienced a brain tumour.
When I come here, I meet people that are in a similar boat.
They know what it is to have brain surgery.
Over dinner, funded by the charity, meet-ups provide
an opportunity for everyone here to stay connected and feel less alone.
My hair's not as long as it was,
I'm not drinking as much.
I've been to maybe seven, eight of these in the last two years,
and I know that I'll be the guy that's coming back
in 20 years, because I have to believe that.
It has been so wonderful to hear so much chatter and conversation
and laughter tonight. It really warms our hearts.
But, sadly, it's not just adults who need help from Brainstrust.
Brain tumours are the deadliest form of cancer for children in the UK,
and 500 are diagnosed each year.
Think about it - that's 500 families
having to come to terms with the news
that their child has a brain tumour.
Now Brainstrust has set up Little Brainstrust,
specifically for these families.
When Phoebe's tumour was diagnosed,
her parents had no idea what to expect or how to cope.
I wanted to know as much I could about the stats,
because you're trying to claw at a little bit of control, I think.
You've lost all control,
so, for me, statistics and information
was a bit of that control.
A social worker at the hospital
put Rachel in contact with Brainstrust.
Brainstrust gave me the brain box,
which contained loads of really useful stuff.
It has a lot of information, from very easy-to-understand material,
right through to sort of a book written by a former consultant.
Finding reliable information has meant
that you are able to prepare yourself, I think, emotionally
for whatever might be next.
Phoebe's brain box included a diary called My Brain Book
that the family used to keep information given by their doctors.
It's really handy to have,
because being emotional is exhausting,
you're permanently just so tired
as you're coming to terms with your child's diagnosis.
As well as the brain box,
the charity offers 24-hour support and advice by phone and online.
Something like Brainstrust,
it's really, really key to just coping emotionally,
and not feeling that you're on your own.
The Brainstrust meet-ups aren't just for adults.
Here in Sheffield, the charity has brought
children and their families together
to share their experiences.
I like it here because they've been through
the same thing as me.
Brainstrust have been brilliant in supporting us
along this unexpected journey that we've found ourselves on.
It's offered a chance to connect with other families
going through something similar.
I get to know them through cancer.
Brainstrust is offering something that's quite unlike
anything else that's out there -
special, tailor-made support
for anyone who's undergoing the stress
of living with a brain tumour,
and Brainstrust needs our help
to carry on doing its wonderful work.
In London, after an anxious weekend,
Chris is due to get the results of his MRI scan.
If his tumour is still stable,
he and Holly can go ahead with their trip to the USA
to spend Christmas with his family.
I'm terrified, but hopefully, in ten minutes' time, I won't be.
I don't know what I would do
if it were bad news,
other than I know the first thing I would do
would be go and speak to Brainstrust.
Well, I've had a good look at your scans,
and actually they're stable.
So that's really good.
It's a huge relief.
Not just for today, it feels...
like a bigger relief than it has before.
It feels like we can... get on a bit
Around 60,000 people with brain tumours in the UK
are living with the anxiety of regular scans.
Brainstrust makes people feel strong enough to tackle life with a tumour.
So, next time, instead of going out and spending money on having dinner,
why not put that money towards helping someone with a brain tumour?
A brain box like the one sent to little Phoebe
costs just £40 to put together,
so perhaps you could think in terms of contributing to one of those,
but just please give whatever you can.
To give by phone, call 0800 011 011.
Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
You can also donate £10,
by texting DONATE to 70121.
Texts cost £10, plus your standard network message charge,
and the whole £10 goes to Brainstrust.
For full terms and conditions,
or to make a donation online,
visit the Lifeline website at bbc.co.uk/lifeline.
Or, if you'd like to post a donation,
please make your cheque payable to Brainstrust
and send it to Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal,
writing "Brainstrust" on the back of the envelope.
Whatever and however you donate,
thank you so much.
Julia Somerville presents an appeal on behalf of brainstrust, a charity that supports adults and children with brain tumours. To help relieve the stress of such a frightening diagnosis, brainstrust offers 24-hour support and much-needed information.
For six-year-old Phoebe and her family, brainstrust has provided emotional and practical support since Phoebe was diagnosed with a malignant tumour.
Julia is all too familiar with this cause, as she had a benign brain tumour removed some years ago.