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Langtoft mum with 8 brain tumours who has been left in limbo to take part in Brain Tumour Research charity’s 200km in May Your Way challenge

A woman with eight brain tumours has been left in limbo after baffling doctors.

Nicola Ferdinand, a mum-of-three from Langtoft, first began experiencing problems with the vision in her left eye in 2017.

An optician referred her to hospital where she had MRI scans, which identified four brain tumours, including an optic nerve sheath meningioma.

Nicola Ferdinand with her radiotherapy mask
Nicola Ferdinand with her radiotherapy mask

The 47-year-old underwent six weeks of radiotherapy from April 2018 which left her with an impaired field of vision in her left eye, although she no longer experiences periods of blindness.

Since then she has been diagnosed with three more and a schwannoma, a tumour of the tissue that covers nerves.

The rest of Nicola’s tumours, which aren’t cancerous, are all being monitored as part of a ‘watch and wait’ approach for which she receives annual MRI scans.

Nicola Ferdinand on her rowing machine
Nicola Ferdinand on her rowing machine

Nicola, who continues to experience migraines and intense pressure in her head, said: “There’s still not enough known about brain tumours.

“I was actually referred to a genetics team as an interesting case.

“They’re trying to find out why, for some reason, my body likes making these tumours.

“I desperately want there to be more research into this so patients, like me, aren’t just left in limbo.

Nicola Ferdinand from Langtoft
Nicola Ferdinand from Langtoft

“On the one hand, it’s great that mine aren’t cancerous but on the other hand, this type of tumour can still cause a lot of damage.”

The pre-school business manager is preparing to take part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 200km in May Your Way challenge, which requires participants to complete the distance over the course of the month. She plans to use her rowing machine at home.

Her sister, Tracey Cox, from Cambridge, will also taking part, combining cycling, walking and rowing for her challenge.

Nicola, who also suffers from fibromyalgia, said: “I struggle with conventional exercises like running, so I wanted to do something that involved less impact.

“Rowing seemed like a good alternative because I find that easier to do with my limitations.

“I really wanted to do something to help prevent others from going through the horror of brain tumours, and to ensure there are treatments available when they do.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, but I’m also nervous about it because I don’t want to let anyone down.

“People have put their faith in me, but I know that will give me the willpower to succeed.”

To support Nicola’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/NICOLA1712831370907.

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