Woman with eight brain tumours rowing 200km to help find a cure

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A Lincolnshire woman with eight brain tumours is taking on an epic month-long challenge to help fund vital research into the disease.

Mum-of-three Nicola Ferdinand was diagnosed with four low-grade meningiomas in October 2017. She has subsequently been diagnosed with three more, and a schwannoma.

For months leading up to her initial diagnosis, Nicola, 47, had been experiencing problems with the vision in her left eye and an optician referred her to hospital.

The MRI scans that followed identified four brain tumours, including an optic nerve sheath meningioma for which she underwent six weeks of radiotherapy, leaving her with an impaired field of vision in her left eye.

The rest of Nicola’s tumours, including those discovered more recently, are all being monitored as part of a ‘watch and wait’ approach for which she receives annual MRI scans. She also suffers from fibromyalgia, which causes her widespread pain among other symptoms.

The pre-school business manager is now taking part in our 200k in May Your Way challenge, which she will complete at home using her rowing machine. Her sister, Tracey Cox, from Cambridge, is also taking part, combining cycling, walking and rowing for her challenge.

Nicola, who continues to suffer migraines and intense pressure in her head, said: “I struggle with conventional exercises like running, so I wanted to do something that involved less impact. Rowing seemed like a good alternative because I find that easier to do with my limitations.

“I really wanted to do something to help prevent others from going through the horror of brain tumours, and to ensure there are treatments available when they do.”

To support Nicola’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/NICOLA1712831370907

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