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Terrington St John woman who underwent brain surgery exceeds target for ‘ground breaking’ research

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A Terrington St John woman who had a rare brain tumour removed in 2013 has surpassed her target to fund research into the cancers.

Lucinda Knight, 28, has raised more than £6,000 after setting up a specific fund, alongside her consultants at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, for research into rare brain tumours, which one consultant has described as “ground breaking”.

She said: “It is becoming more and more common – someone we know of being diagnosed with something so scary as a brain tumour and it’s extremely important for consultants to be able to have more understanding of these tumours and their behaviour, and essentially the treatment which works best.”

Lucinda Knight with friends and family at her coffe and cake drop in to thank them for helping her reach her £5,000 target. Picture: SUBMITTED. (8127552)
Lucinda Knight with friends and family at her coffe and cake drop in to thank them for helping her reach her £5,000 target. Picture: SUBMITTED. (8127552)

After experiencing vision problems and head rushes in late 2012, Lucinda visited an optician who then referred her to hospital.

She was just 21 when she was diagnosed with a grade II papillary tumour of the pineal region in December 2012.

Lucinda had her first operation that month, when surgeons removed a section of the tumour and eased the pressure of brain fluid.

In January 2013, Lucinda spent about five hours in theatre as surgeons removed the whole tumour, which was the size of a thumb nail.

To thank surgeons in the neurology department at Addenbrooke’s, and as reported in the Lynn News at the time, Lucinda raised more than £1,600 for them with a coffee morning and bake sale in February 2013.

But her ordeal was not over, and the tumour grew back six months after her first surgery.

She was then diagnosed as a grade III – which indicates a faster-growing cancer – and underwent a further operation in 2014 and seven weeks of radiotherapy.

In January 2017, Lucinda set up a specific fund for research into rare brain tumours, with a target of £5,000.

Having organised numerous fundraising events since then, Lucinda has now exceeded that target, and a coffee and cake drop-in was held at her home earlier this month to thank friends and family for their continued support.

In a letter to Lucinda on March 4, consultant neurosurgeon Thomas Santarius, of Addenbrooke’s, told her of their plans to research a rare brain tumour, which will use her funds as part of that research, if an application for major funding is successful.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your time, energy and support you have given to be part of this (very hopeful) ground-breaking and world-first collaboration.”

Lucinda said she is “extremely passionate” about fundraising for this research, in the hope of helping others with a similar diagnosis.

“I aim to one day know that someone else’s diagnosis is just a little more positive than mine,” she added.

“It will never be any less scary nor easier to digest but, all of these cures for tumours and diseases had to start somewhere, right?”

As of the end of last year, Lucinda, who was having more regular check-ups, will now have yearly MRI scans for the rest of her life.

“It’s good to have the reassurance,” she added.

Looking to the year ahead, Lucinda is hoping to hold an outdoor event in the summer to further fundraise, and family friend Bridgette Watt will be running the GEAR 10K on Sunday, May 5 in aid of her research fund.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rare-brain-tumour-research.

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