A FORMER Mental Health Nurse who was diagnosed with a brain tumour that left her unable to speak and move has backed an appeal to raise money to research the disease.
Dionne Ferguson, aged 42, and her family supported ‘Wear A Hat Day’ in aid of Brain Tumour Research with the message “a brain tumour can happen to anyone, at any time”.
The #HATTASTIC campaign took place at Badby Park care home in Daventry with residents and staff all wearing hats in support as well as a cake sale to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Dionne Ferguson, began treatment at Badby Park in 2013 and after four years of intensive rehabilitation she is now speaking and able to move her arms and wriggle her legs and toes.
She said: “When I worked as a nurse in Mental Health I used to say to patients, mental illness can happen to anyone, then it happened to me, I got a brain tumour!
“Without my daughter Amelia (16 at the time) I wouldn’t have got through it. She came to see me every day and I didn’t know she was there. The hospital wanted to turn the ventilator off because they thought I wasn’t going to survive.
“Amelia had top doctors telling her to say goodbye to me because they didn’t think I would make it through the night – and I did”
Dionne explained what motivated her to get through her rehab: “You have to believe in yourself, it’s positive thinking. Every challenge I got, I did it. It’s down to you, not anyone else.
“20% of people that are diagnosed with brain tumour don’t live past 5 years. I’m in my 6th year now.”
Cashana Bull, Wellbeing Facilitator at Badby Park, said that Dionne’s story was incredibly inspiring and she was delighted that the service could support the initiative.
She said: “It has been wonderful to see Dionne progress. She is a very strong lady with a great sense of humour. We have shared many laughs over the years and I look forward to sharing many more.
“We are proud of Dionne’s progress – she has worked so hard during her rehabilitation and she is testament that you should never give up.”
The event at the care service raised £109 for research,for more information and to donate, visit www.wearahatday.org or text HAT to 70660 to donate £5.
Badby Park is part of The Badby Group which provides rehabilitation, long term care, respite and palliative care for people with neurological illnesses, acquired brain injuries and spinal injuries.