A young teenager who started chemotherapy the day after her 13th birthday is encouraging her schoolmates to get hatty on Friday 25th March for Brain Tumour Research.
Ruby-Tuesday O’Brien was diagnosed with a grade 1 pilocytic astrocytoma, roughly the size of a lemon, in April last year. The young teen had a shunt fitted in emergency operation to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and a craniotomy seven weeks later. She is now undergoing 18 months of chemotherapy, which she started last July.
Ruby (pictured centre, with friends) said: “Having a brain tumour is a very isolating time. None of my friends really get it, no young people do, and the side-effects need to be talked about more. Nobody at school realises how bad it is because they only see me on my good days. They don’t know what it’s really like.”
Despite her ordeal, Ruby is focusing on the positives and is taking part in Wear A Hat Day with her school, the Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, to raise vital funds to help find a cure. She is preparing to speak in an assembly to educate her peers and is also organising a school-wide event.
Ruby’s mum Melanie said: “What she’s doing is very important. Putting more into education and research will mean finding some kind of cure much faster and improving treatment options much sooner. It’s also important to raise awareness so that parents know the tell-tale signs. I was disregarding Ruby’s symptoms as growing pains for a long time because I never imagined she could have a brain tumour, I just didn’t think about it.”
To support Ruby-Tuesday, visit her JustGiving page here.
There’s still time to register for Wear A Hat Day too! Find out more and sign up today at www.wearahatday.org