An inspiring 9-year-old girl who lost her sight due to a brain tumor wants to inspire people to be more positive.
Betsy Griffin, from Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, whose first book Out of the Woods is out now and based on her powerful YouTube videos, joined Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughy on This Morning to talk about her harrowing journey.
His father, Stuart, admitted that despite endless hospital appointments and undergoing chemotherapy, he always found each day ‘wonderful’.
Betsy Griffin, from Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, who lost her sight due to a brain tumour, wants to inspire people to be more positive on This Morning.
He said: ‘We would leave the house at 6:30 in the morning, go to Great Ormond Street, spend all day in hospital being poked and prodded and sometimes it was 14 or 16 hours a day.’
“We wouldn’t go out until 6pm, get in the car excited to finally go home, and Betsy would say, ‘What a wonderful day.'”
“I always found it interesting the way she would frame it compared to how an adult probably would, it just has a positive attitude about her.”
Betsy said she thinks her positive outlook comes from her grandfather, as he was “shot” during World War II, but he always managed to have a positive outlook.
She said: ‘I kind of get it from my body, if that makes sense? It comes out of nowhere. I also think maybe it comes from my great-grandfather.
His father, Stuart, admitted that despite endless hospital appointments and undergoing chemotherapy, he always saw each day as “wonderful” (right)
The 9-year-old whose debut book Out of the Woods is out now and based on her powerful YouTube videos, joined Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughy on This Morning to talk about her harrowing journey.
What is optic nerve glioma?
Optic nerve glioma is a slow-growing tumor that usually affects children
30% of patients have associated NF1 and these have a better prognosis
Patients with optic pathway gliomas present more frequently in the first decade with a median age of 6.5 years, with slowly progressive visual loss
Gliomas grow slowly but have the potential to spread to surrounding tissues, including around the optic nerve, chiasm, and adjacent brain.
Treatment is managed by an interdisciplinary team of neuro-ophthalmologists, hematology-oncologists, oculoplastic surgeons, and radiation oncologists, as appropriate.
Surgery and radiation therapy are two possible ways to treat optic nerve glioma.
“In fact, he’s been through tough times like me,” he said, noting that his deceased was “shot in the leg” during World War II.
“He actually died last year, but it didn’t stop my positivity, he was always positive, he never complained and he was always like me, he liked to do risky things… I think maybe I share his positivity and craziness.”
During the pandemic, he was inspired to try to lift people’s spirits, especially those who lived alone.
Betsy’s YouTube channel, called Betsy’s Positive Videos, has more than 4,000 subscribers and follows her positive outlook in her daily activities, such as walking, gardening, and even after hospital operations.
She said: “In lockdown when I was six I thought you knew why so many people are having such a hard time and I thought some people aren’t even married but luckily I have a mum and dad and two sisters as well. that I was living with the people.
“Some people are single and don’t even have their siblings or friends to visit, so I thought they needed to make the world as positive as possible during this time.”
Betsy, who is donating £1,000 from her book sales to charity for children with cancer, said: “Every creature [in the book] it has a positive mindset, and there are several chapters, seven, eight, I think, and each chapter is one of my videos.
‘There’s gratitude, there’s being in the moment. I think Happy Hare there gives a very positive message from one of my videos.’
Betsy admitted that she thinks people should decide to “be in the moment” instead of overthinking it.
Betsy, who is donating £1000 from her book sales to charity for children with cancer, said “every creature in the book has a positive mindset”.
Betsy said she thinks her positive outlook comes from her grandfather, as he was “shot” during World War II, but she has always managed to have a positive outlook.
She said: ‘We’re always thinking about the past, we’re thinking, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have done that,’ and always thinking, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ Just relax, baby! Just relax and live in the moment!”
At age two, Betsy was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor called a diffuse optic nerve glioma.
She was diagnosed after her family noticed her eyesight was deteriorating and she was sleeping more during the day.
In addition to dealing with the challenges of being severely visually impaired, Betsy has to take daily hormone replacement medications for growth, cortisol, and thyroid function because the optic nerve glioma damaged her pituitary gland.