A brave Pendle mum has relived the heart-wrenching moment she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
Natalie Cash, from Nelson, was told the devastating news last month.
The 31-year-old will be unable to work for the foreseeable future, and her family and friends from across Pendle have since been busy driving up funds to help her.
Natalie said she had been suffering from tiredness and headaches, and had not “been fully herself” for about a year.
But while juggling being a mum to Jon-James (8) and Stephen (7), working night shifts as a carer for children with disabilities, and doing her QCF Level 3 qualification, the symptoms were not enough to cause her concern.
At the end of January, she got up to go the bathroom at 1-30pm and although she does not remember much of what happened she recalls feeling like she was in a dream where she had fallen to the floor, bit her tongue, and had a seizure. She woke up to a phone call at 3-40pm, and rushed out of the house to collect her children from school.
When I got told I went numb. It feels like I am in a bubbleNatalie Cash
Two weeks later she suffered a partial seizure, where she was fully awake and aware of what was happening to her.
Her left side of her body could not move properly, her face was drooping, and when she tried to talk a dull sound came out. She managed to stop herself from passing out, and got a taxi to school to pick up her children, as she could not walk properly. When she got home the decision was taken to seek help.
A rapid response vehicle was sent out, an ambulance was called and Natalie was taken to Airedale Hospital. She was initially told it could be a severe migraine or a mini stroke, but the diagnosis was confirmed following a brain scan and an emergency MRI.
Natalie said: “Wednesday, February 11th, was the day I was told I had a brain tumour. I was on my own, and all I heard was brain tumour - I didn’t hear anything else they said to me.
“When I got told I went numb. It feels like I am in a bubble. I’ve not broken down yet, but that will probably come when I get my date for surgery.
“When my kids get upset that gets me, but my husband is a rock - he has been amazing and I have brilliant family and friends. I couldn’t imagine doing this on my own.
“If they left it, within five years it would be cancerous.
“They should be able to take 90% of it away which is good. The 10% they can’t take is a tail bit cutting back to the speech and movement ability part of my brain, and if they took too much of that it could paralyse me.”
Natalie, who has been referred to Leeds General Infirmary, has developed epilepsy, is still suffering seizures, is on four sets of medication and has more MRIs to come.
Having spoken to headteacher Anne Marie Nield from Holy Saviour RC Primary School, where Natalie’s children are pupils, her friends and family are helping raise money to split between the family (75%) and Brain Tumour Research (25%).
The school will host a “Crazy Hair and Hat Day” on Friday, March 27th and local businesses and residents are being urged to host similar events for the cause. A raffle will be held on April 1st, and tickets are available from the school office for £1.
Anybody wanting to donate prizes can drop them off at Fine Print, in Colne Market. Alternatively ring Natalie’s friends Laura Roach, from Colne, on 07722 625341 or Becca Mousley from Barrowford on 07541 734435.