Young Leeds scientist’s ‘ticking time bomb’ brain tumour agony

Anna Whitehead from Scholes, who is preparing for two gruelling fundraising challenges despite being diagnosed with a large brain tumour which she describes as a 'ticking time bomb.'
22nd June 2016.
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Anna Whitehead from Scholes, who is preparing for two gruelling fundraising challenges despite being diagnosed with a large brain tumour which she describes as a 'ticking time bomb.' 22nd June 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A SCIENTIST is preparing for two gruelling fundraising challenges despite being diagnosed with a large brain tumour which she describes as a ‘ticking time bomb.’

Anna Whitehead, 25, of Scholes, was told she has a diffuse astrocytoma brain tumour last March and doctors have said she can only expect to live for ten to 12 years.

Miss Whitehead, who works for the University of Leeds as a breast cancer research technician at St James Hospital, said: “I had surgery to remove some of the tumour and radiotherapy to slow its growth.

“I am now classed as stable, meaning the tumour has not grown since my treatment.

“However, one day regular scans will show the ticking time bomb in my head has turned nasty and will dramatically shorten my life.

“This uncertainty is difficult to accept. It is absolutely horrifying and hard to deal with.”

Miss Whitehead started suffering double vision in November 2014. Her GP referred her to a neurologist and a brain scan revealed the tumour.”

She said: “I was absolutely shocked because I thought my symptoms were quite mild.”

Miss Whitehead is determined to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research and is set to run the Escrick 10k on August 21 and walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks on September 25.

She will be joined on the challenges by her boyfriend Joe Clements, 27, and her father Phil Whitehead, 59, both of Scholes. The trio have already raised £675 towards their initial £1,000 target.

Miss Whitehead said: “Prognosis for most patients with brain tumours is poor – killing more people under 40 than any other cancer and they are the biggest cancer killer of children.

“Astonishingly brain tumours only receive one per cent of national cancer research funding.” To sponsor Miss Whitehead on her two fundraising challenges, go to www.justgiving.com/Anna-Phil-Joe

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