A mum who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour has hit out at a lack of funding for research into the condition.
Sarah Harrison had to give up work as a registered nurse, and still suffers memory problems and fatigue, as a result of the malignant tumour - initially diagnosed as benign.
Her health problems first came to light when she suffered a seizure while driving - and her 11-year-old son had to grab the car’s steering wheel.
Today Sarah, aged 45, of Knaresborough Road, Conisbrough, said: “The lack of funding for research is very disappointing.
“You hear about other cancers all the time, but brain tumours seem to get forgotten, even though since I was diagnosed I have come across a lot of people who have been impacted by one.”
Now, in a bid to raise cash for research into the condition, Sarah’s brother Jonathan Carrington is cycling 2,500 miles over six weeks for charity Brain Tumour Research.
RAF paramedic Jonathan, who lives on Old Road, Conisbrough, set off on his journey yesterday, from his RAF base in Cyprus all the way to the UK.
“I am so proud of my brother and what he is doing,” said Sarah.
“He and my friends and family, including my husband, Paul, are a huge support to me.”
Sarah first suffered problems in 2004 when she was 35. She had a seizure while driving and her son Jamie, just 11 at the time, had to grab the wheel.
She was diagnosed with epilepsy, and for several years took a variety of different drugs to try to control her seizures, undergoing scans which she was assured showed everything was normal.
But in 2011 an expert reviewed the scans and thought she had a benign tumour.
Sarah said: “I underwent surgery and then discovered I actually had a malignant brain tumour.
“It was a massive shock that took a lot of accepting. I had four weeks of radiosurgery. It was really hard because I have ended up with memory problems and extreme tiredness so I can’t work anymore. I thought I would be back at work three months after the surgery.
“It was also devastating for my family. My daughter Kayleigh, who is training at The University of Sheffield to be a doctor, was actually doing neurology at the time of my craniotomy, so found it particularly tough.”
Her brother Jonathan is pledging to raise £2,740 - which represents a day’s research into brain tumours - and has already raised over £2,500.
The paramedic, who has 24 years’ service in the RAF and worked alongside Prince William in the Falklands in early 2011, is planning to cycle around 75 miles a day.
The dad to 14-year-old Hollie and three-year-old Poppy said: “Hollie thinks I’m nuts, but admits she is very proud of me. She knows Auntie Sarah is my inspiration and that she suffered for years before finally being diagnosed with quite an aggressive brain tumour.
“Before that I didn’t have any understanding of brain tumours and am amazed such a small percentage of funding goes to research into this cancer which I have discovered kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other.”
To sponsor Jonathan visit www.justgiving.com/Jona-Carrington.
Follow Jonathan’s progress at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/wrongwayhome2014