Mom working with Brain Tumor Research to raise awareness

Mom working with Brain Tumor Research to raise awareness

A MOTHER OF TWO with a terminal brain tumor has spoken of her frustration with the lack of funding and research into “neglected” cancer.

Jennifer Roscoe, 38, is working with the Brain Tumor Research charity to raise awareness after she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor in June 2019.

Jennifer Roscoe before her diagnosis

Jennifer Roscoe before her diagnosis

Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other type of cancer; however, historically only one percent of national cancer research spending has been allocated to brain tumors.

Jennifer is participating in the 100 Squats or Star Jumps a Day in November Challenge to raise “vital” funds to help find a cure.

Jennifer during her treatment

Jennifer during her treatment

Jennifer, mother of Emmy, nine, and Aria, six, was healthy and fit and says she has a high pain threshold. But at the beginning of 2019, she began to feel very bad.

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She said: “I was having regular bouts of vomiting and I had such bad headaches. My GP thought she had a recurring sinus infection, so I went to see an ENT doctor at the private Fairfield Independent Hospital in St. Helens.

“I was prescribed beta blockers to stop the migraines, but they did nothing. It was getting worse and I got so sick and lost so much weight that I had to stop working as a pharmacy technician.”

Jennifer Roscoe after her operation

Jennifer Roscoe after her operation

On June 2, 2019, Jennifer’s entire left side became numb, accompanied by vomiting and blurred vision. Her husband, David, 43, took her to Whiston Accident and Emergency Hospital. The next day, Jennifer had an MRI which revealed that she had a brain tumor.

She said: “When they told me, I was actually relieved because I knew I hadn’t been making it all up. I knew so little about brain tumors that it never occurred to me that I had cancer. David seemed shocked that his father died of stomach cancer and he saw the suffering he went through.”

Jennifer Roscoe during treatment

Jennifer Roscoe during treatment

A week later, Jennifer underwent surgery at The Walton Center in Liverpool and was told the entire tumor had been removed.

“I recovered pretty quickly and went home after a couple of nights in the hospital. That was more enjoyable for the kids because they got scared when they saw me with two black eyes with wires attached to me.

“The histology report showed that my tumor was a GBM. He didn’t want to know my prognosis because I don’t believe in figures like that. But I have since learned that the average life expectancy is around 16 months, which is not good.”

Jennifer with her daughters Emmy and Aria after her operation

Jennifer with her daughters Emmy and Aria after her operation

In April 2022, an MRI revealed that the tumor had grown back in three different areas of Jennifer’s brain. She chose to have chemotherapy, after being given the choice between that or radiotherapy.

Jennifer, from St Helens, said: “It was a huge setback and I was devastated. This brain tumor has robbed me of hope of growing old. It’s overwhelming because there are so many things I want to witness in my daughters’ lives, like seeing them grow up, have their first boyfriends, and have children of their own.

“I was absolutely thrilled when Emmy lost her first tooth on Christmas Day last year because I thought it was something she would miss. It was like a gift to me.”

Jennifer with her husband David before her diagnosis

Jennifer with her husband David before her diagnosis

In July of this year, the Roscoe family went to Disney World in Florida, which was at the top of Jennifer’s list of things to do with her family before she died.

She said: “It was amazing, and the girls loved every minute of it. It was worth every penny, even though no one would insure me due to my diagnosis.

“We die once but we live every day, so make the most of the life you have.”

Now, Jennifer is participating in the 100 Squats or Star Jumps a Day in November Challenge, to raise more money and awareness for brain tumor research.

She said: “It is very important to raise money to advance research to help others. Only one percent of national spending on cancer research has gone to this devastating disease, which is infuriating. It is as if it were the thoroughly undesirable cancer, as if it were the forgotten one.

“It is heartbreaking for families to see their loved ones die from this. My husband David is amazing and does everything for me. He is such a good man and I would be lost without him.”

Matthew Price, Community Development Manager for Brain Tumor Research, said: “We are very sorry that Jennifer was diagnosed with GBM. It is an incredibly difficult diagnosis for her and her family to deal with. It’s so nice that she has such a supportive and loving family.

“We are very grateful to Jennifer for participating in the 100 Squats or Star Jumps a Day in November Challenge, as it is only with the support of people like her that we can advance our brain tumor research and improve outcome. for patients like Jennifer who are forced to fight this terrible disease.

“I would encourage anyone who can take part in the challenge to do so. Not only is it fun, it gets you in shape while raising vital funds to help find a cure for brain tumors.”

Jennifer's daughter Emmy loses her first tooth

Jennifer’s daughter Emmy loses her first tooth

Brain Tumor Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centers in the UK. He also campaigns for the government and the largest cancer charities to invest more in brain tumor research to speed up new treatments for patients and ultimately find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for £35m annual national spending to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukemia and is also campaigning for increased drug reuse.

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