Michaela Laidlaw


Fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity
raised of £5,000 target
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Event: Trek Kilimanjaro with Discover Adventure 2023, from 6 October 2023 to 15 October 2023
We are moving further, faster to help everyone affected by a brain tumour


I was first diagnosed with a slow growing benign grade 2
oligodendraglioma brain tumour on the 2nd January 2015 when I was 26 years old.
Having only been married 9 months our plans of starting a family had to be put on hold. 

I underwent a successful 5 hour craniotomy 6 weeks after diagnosis without any further treatment needed. 

I fell pregnant in November 2015 and gave birth to a healthy baby boy who is now 6 (going on 16!) 

Within the first few years of diagnosis I had regular MRI scans and unfortunately the ‘mushroom’ as we’d come to name it had grown back at a much faster rate than anyone had expected. 

I needed another craniotomy and this time was advised to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy afterwards. 

October 2nd 2017 I underwent another 5 hour operation which at the time went successfully. However a lot of complications followed and I was back in hospital for a large amount of time away from my family only to be followed by another ‘correction’ operation. 

After all this I then decided against the chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I just wanted to concentrate on getting myself
healthy, live my life a little and embrace the fact that I was finally home with my family in time for Christmas 2017. 

2018 almost went without drama until the results of my latest scan
came back 3 days before Christmas, there was growth and change that needed action in the form of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, me being me, I was already half way through my London Marathon training that I was taking part in on 28th April 2019 for this same charity.

My consultant let me hold my treatment until I completed the
marathon. I started my first of 30 radiotherapy sessions 3 days after I ran across the finish line. This was then followed by 6 cycles of chemotherapy concluding in February 2020.

It’s safe to say there were some very dark days during my treatment.
Sometimes I never thought I’d make it through the painful cannulas, collapsed veins, sore skin, early menopause, the extreme fatigue and all the glances that I got when my hair started to fall out and when I ‘braved the shave’.

The impact of living with a Brain tumour has and still does hugely
effect me and my family both physically and mentally. 

I am however one of the lucky ones and as I’ve always said ‘there are always people worse off’.

Since my treatment finished I have had regular 6 monthly scans which
have all been stable. However I know as well as the rest that this will change at some stage. It may be in 6 months or 6 years’ time, it is a ticking time bomb that I just can’t control and have to live with. What I won’t do though is let the diagnosis determine my prognosis, I continue to do everything as I ever would and more so.

16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain
tumour every single year however, only 1% of the National spend on cancer research gets allocated to this devastating disease. 

On the 6th October 2023 I will set off to Tanzania in the attempt to climb Kilimanjaro for the Brain Tumour Charity. 

I have set a pledge to raise £5,000 to help this fantastic charity find a cure for this horrendous disease.

Lastly, personally and most importantly of all, I will complete my dream of climbing this rather large hill in an attempt to show my son, Spencer that however tough times can feel, you must stay strong, keep fighting and never give up. 

In the future I want him to look back and say ‘mum I’m so proud of who you are and what you have done.’

About the charity

The Brain Tumour Charity is the world’s leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally. Committed to saving and improving lives, we’re moving further and faster to help every single person affected by a brain tumour. A cure really can’t wait

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