Inspired to help after club talk

Graham Smith and Carol Rutherford.
Graham Smith and Carol Rutherford.

Dunstable Rotary Club has donated £500 to The Brain Tumour Charity after hearing about its work from a woman who survived the disease.

Estate agent Carol Rutherford was invited to speak to club members earlier this year about the impact of brain tumours and The Brain Tumour Charity’s efforts to raise awareness of the symptoms.

Carol, 60, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012 after months of health problems including extreme tiredness, memory loss and visual problems.

She collapsed at home and admitted to Bedford Hospital, where an MRI scan revealed a large brain tumour, which doctors said was too large to remove and told Carol’s family she would die within hours.

But after a last-minute decision to send her brain scan results to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridgeshire, surgeons there said they could operate on the low-grade (non-cancerous) tumour.

Carol was rushed by ambulance to Addenbrooke’s for the operation and has since made a remarkable recovery. She has raised thousands of pounds for The Brain Tumour Charity through events including marathon walks, a pop quiz and bake sales.

She told Dunstable Rotary Club members: “Sadly, my story is not unusual – 62% of brain tumours are not diagnosed until a visit to A & E. This compares with 5% for breast cancer.

“Earlier diagnosis will not always save the life of a brain tumour patient but even where terminal earlier diagnosis can greatly improve quality of life in the time someone has left.”

Graham Smith of Dunstable Rotary Club said: “All of our members who heard Carol’s talk were very impressed - it left a strong message and lots of food for thought.”

Visit www.thebraintumourcharity.org