The village of Eglinton is pulling together to raise money in support of The Brain Tumour Charity with a large contingent of runners putting their best foot forward for the Waterside Half Marathon.
Following the recent diagnosis of a brain tumour within her family, local resident Vicki Spratt decided that she wanted to raise awareness about a medical condition that is notoriously difficult to spot.
Around 20 members of the Spratt family and friends have registered to take part in the annual WHM organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Vicki Spratt explained: “It was only after a visit to the local optician in the town that we were first alerted to the possibility that there may have been something more than just an eye condition”.
Following the advice of the optician, the Spratts subsequently attended Altnagelvin Hospital where an MRI scan revealed the presence of a brain tumour.
Vicki continued: “We had dismissed the symptoms ourselves primarily as being due to an eye infection.The last thing we thought was that it might be a brain tumour.
“From living a normal life we were suddenly thrown into a world that no-one is equipped to deal with. Had it not been for the prompt action of the optician we might have had a very different result. Following the formal diagnosis, a successful course of treatment was undertaken and as things stand the prognosis is pretty good.
“We were lucky – others are not. It is a fact that most people will not have their brain tumour diagnosed straight away. The symptoms that might reveal the presence of a tumour are often mistaken for other things such as stress, growing pains, panic attacks, migraine, sinus problems…the list goes on. We know that nine times out of ten it won’t be a tumour but you can never be sure.
“We now understand that GPs report that they might come across a brain tumour only once or twice in their professional careers. Mercifully it is rare but we would always urge them to think – might this be an indication of a tumour? – it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Vicki and her family do not want what happened to them to happen to anyone else.
“We are doing the run in order to alert people to the need to be Brain Tumour Aware. The Brain Tumour Charity is the leading organisation supporting families coping with a brain tumour and we want to raise money for them.”
As well as the run, a Quiz Night is being held on September 10th at the Eglinton Cricket Club. The doors open at 7.30pm with the quiz kicking off at 8pm, and disco afterwards.