‘Hatwalk 2016’ praised by local brain tumour family

Lauren Monaghan with her mother Yvonne
Lauren Monaghan with her mother Yvonne

A local mother whose daughter has a rare brain tumour has praised the organisers of the’Hatwalk’ event.

Hatwalk is annual event which allows local milliners to showcase their latest collections while raising both awareness about tumours and funds for charity.

This year the chosen recipient of the funds raised is Brainwaves N.I.

Local woman, Yvonne Monaghan, whose 16-years-old daughter, Lauren, has a rare brain tumour, has received ‘great supprt’ from Brainwaves N.I. since her daughter’s diagnosis.

Lauren was just 12 when she was diagnosed with the inoperable tumour. She had been referred for an MRI because she was having headaches.

Lauren had surgery and the tumour became stable for a period of time.

However, in May 2013, the tumour became more aggressive and began causing damage to the vital structures of her brain.

Lauren underwent a second craniotomy and this caused several complications.

The 16-years-old was in a coma in ICU for a period of time and suffered a stroke.

Mum Yvonne said ‘it was touch and go for a long time.’ Lauren has been left with a lot of long term conditions as a result and had to undergo a period of rehabilitation. The tumour continued to gro and we were then referred to America for proton therapy’.

Lauren is also currently taking part in a clinical trial in America to allow researchers to find out more about the rare tumour she has.

At the moment, the proton therapy appears to be working and the tumour is shrinking.

However, day to day life can be difficult for Lauren as she has low energy levels, is on medication for life and a simple infection can be quite severe for her.

Throughout all of this, Yvonne has had the support of Brainwaves N.I.

“It is a great facility. They hold regular meetings and events where we get the opportunity to meet other people with brain tumours.

“Receiving a diagnosis can be very isolating but these meetings let us know there are other people out there going through a similar journey.

‘Many of the brain tumour organisations are based in England so it is great that there is something based locally to provide fantastic and much needed support.”

Yvonne added that the Hatwalk event is a great opportunity to raise awareness about brain tumours.

“I would also like to thank the organisers of the event for supporting the vital work of Brainwaves NI.”

Hatwalk takes place tonight (Friday) at 7.00 p.m. in the Everglades Hotel. Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at the door.

Visit www.hatwalk.info for more information.