Meet Elise, diagnosed with a brain tumour, aged 11

Meet Elise, diagnosed with a brain tumour, aged 11

My name is Elise and I am 15 years old. I was 11 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumour called a Medulloblastoma. 

My balance was all over the place and I woke up every day being sick so my Mum took me to A&E where I had an MRI scan, they spotted the tumour, I was then rushed to King’s for an operation first thing the following morning, my surgeon came up to get me and wheeled me to the operation theatre which put me at ease. 

I used to enjoy competitive swimming and it also affected that because I couldn’t swim as much as I should have been able to but highlighted that something wasn’t right with me. 

A few months later, I started my treatment of intense chemo together with radiotherapy in 2 phases with a little break in between at The Royal Marsden, Surrey. It was a very hard time for me and I didn’t really have anyone my own age to chat to, I felt very lonely and conscious of my appearance. When I managed to get to school, my classmates weren’t very understanding which made things hard and changed my friendship group because of it. 

I kept myself busy by creating things such as art and made lots loom bands as they were the craze at the time and I gave them to the nurses as a thank you. 

I finished my treatment in April 2014 and although it has finished, I do have some side effects from it, I have regular 6 monthly scans, soon to be yearly scans. 

I used my journey as my inspiration for my final GCSE art piece....I wanted to show people what it is like to go through what I did and what I thought of it but also made it pretty and not to be ashamed of your scars. 

I have now finished school and am looking forward to doing my A Levels in Art, Photography and Product Design.

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