Suffering from any illness is upsetting and when you make the effort to lead a healthy lifestyle and you still get struck down? You understandably get the feeling that you just received Primark when you paid for Armani. This happened to my best friend last year. A trip to the opticians showed pressure on his optical nerve; Ben had a brain tumor and was in hospital within 24 hours. I couldn’t understand how this could happen to someone so young (24) and so healthy. I went through all of the emotions possible, but ended up feeling inspired. Ben was taking this in his stride.

There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors. Most commonly brain tumors develop from cells that support the nerve cells of the brain.  These are called glial cells and a tumor of glial cells is called a glioma. In adults the most common tumor types are gliomas (astrocytoma) and meningiomas.  Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in patients under the age of 40.  In adults, incidence is generally highest between the ages of 40 and 60.

I find ‘bravery’ an overused word; in the UK we are constantly ‘braving’ the cold or ‘bravely’ picking up a spider, but to me bravery is protecting others around you and that’s exactly what Ben did. I’m sure inside he was feeling like his world was collapsing but he made sure that he didn’t let others worry and kept his sense of humor at all times! I am pleased to say that Ben is on the road to recovery after having his surgery and currently undergoing radiotherapy; we have come a long way in medicine and it is vital that we help the all-important research that goes in to helping amazing individuals like Ben get on the road to recovery.

It is brain tumor awareness month this month and I along with my colleague Emily Sweetman will be working hard to raise funds and awareness for brain tumors. We have decided to swap lives and talents for a week, challenging each other to learn our retrospective disciplines. I will become a fashionista and Emily will become a ‘Carl Lewis’ long jumper. We will be documenting our efforts throughout the week and will update you on the results (potentially I looking like Karl Lagerfeld and Emily looking like…in a lot of pain!!)

If you would like to follow our pursuits then please like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Em-n-Em-Mix-It-Up-for-Brain-Cancer/354662434652999?fref=ts.

If you would like to donate then you can do so here: http://www.justgiving.com/Em-n-Em. All donations will go to the following charity: http://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/.

Emma Gayler