Brave teenager speaks out over brain tumours

Niamh Cunningham, right, and her mum Lisa
Niamh Cunningham, right, and her mum Lisa

A Leyland teenager is backing a UK-wide campaign to raise awareness of childhood brain tumours following her 18-month diagnosis struggle.

Niamh Cunningham, 15, was finally diagnosed in September 2016 after she suffered months of health problems.

Now Niamh is speaking out in support of HeadSmart, a campaign run by The Brain Tumour Charity, to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of childhood brain tumours.

Niamh, a pupil at Parklands High School, Chorley, said: “I know from my own experience how important it is for doctors and parents to recognise when a child might have a brain tumour. HeadSmart has had an impact already but there are still too many people out there who don’t spot the warning signs.”

Niamh’s symptoms started in March 2015 when she had headaches and vomiting.

Niamh said: “My migraines and vomiting were irregular, we started keeping a record and they happened about every three to four months.”

More than a year later Niamh had a CT scan which revealed a low grade glioma and she underwent emergency surgery the next day.

“We were later told that they hadn’t managed to get all of the tumour out so I am now on three monthly scans to monitor tumour growth.

“We were told that there is a 30-40 per cent chance that it might grow back but we prefer to look at it as 60-70 per cent chance that it won’t grow back.

“I’m now back at school full time and am doing well and living life. But I want to make sure that everyone is aware of the symptoms so that tumours can be caught early in the 
future.”