Suzanne's story

Celebrating the mum defying the odds after a devastating cancer diagnosis

This is Worldwide Cancer Research supporter Suzanne, a mother of two and wife to husband Owen, living in Aberdeen.

In 2014, Suzanne had just celebrated her 36th birthday and returned from a long-awaited family trip to Florida – her kids, age six and nine at the time, were at the perfect age to really enjoy it.

Life was great.

But Suzanne had also started having headaches that no amount of paracetamol would relieve.

Her friends and family noticed that a number of her texts weren’t making sense and she couldn’t understand why. Then Suzanne started having what she could only describe as vacant or absent moments. They were so scary - things kept happening around her that she couldn’t react to.

“They were like a real-life nightmare; I could see people speaking to me but couldn’t hear or even speak back. Eventually, it all got too much, and I went to the doctors to try and find answers. I was referred straight to A&E, and within a few hours my life had changed completely.”  

The doctors told Suzanne that she had a mass the size of a golf ball inside her brain. It was then discovered that the mass was grade four glioblastoma and that she’d only have a year to live.

“A year to live? I couldn’t believe it. I had my two children and husband to think about. It was supposed to be such a happy time - my parents were turning 60 and my little sister was going to get married, with me by her side as her maid of honour. Why was this happening to me?”

Just 5% of people will survive five years or more after a glioblastoma diagnosis. That's why we have awarded £191,704 to a project that is looking to better understand how a gene in our DNA allows brain cancer cells to survive and grow.

“But I defied the odds, and I’m still here today. Now six years on, I’m so thankful for research and for the treatments, surgery advances and drugs that were and are available to me. I didn’t think I’d get to see my 40th birthday - let alone see my sister walk down the aisle and then have children of her own.”

Suzanne now has a scan every six months and is delighted that what’s left of the tumour hasn’t grown any more.  

“When I heard that the Scottish charity, Worldwide Cancer Research, was dedicating almost £200,000 to research into my cancer type thanks to supporters like you, I was completely overjoyed. Any research that can help us get closer to finding new cures is incredible. And the fact there’s a charity so close to home starting new research across the world makes it even more incredible.

Thanks to charities like Worldwide Cancer Research, I can spoil my mum this Mother’s Day and my kids can spoil theirs."

Thank you for backing bold discovery research and for making stories like Suzanne's possible. 

Have you or has someone you love been affected by brain tumours or cancer? Your story could be the gift that one day helps us conquer cancer by raising awareness and starting a conversation. If you would like to share your story with us, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

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