Mum discovers she has brain tumour after forgetting why she was shopping

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Sara Wells was diagnosed after she couldn’t remember what she went into her local supermarket for

A mum discovered she was living with brain cancer after forgetting why she was shopping at a supermarket.

Sam Wells, 48, went into her local store in 2019 but could not remember what she went in for. After later developing a flicker in her eye, the mum-of-two sought medical help after fearing she may have suffered a mini stroke.

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She went to Royal Stoke University Hospital where she underwent an MRI scan, and was told that she had a mass on her brain. Shortly after, the 48-year-old, from Penkridge, Staffordshire, was diagnosed with grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma and has since undergone surgery, 33 sessions of radiotherapy and a year of chemotherapy. She says her condition is incurable but hopes that the tumour will “stay stable”.

Sam Wells discovered she had a brain tumour after forgetting why she was shopping (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)Sam Wells discovered she had a brain tumour after forgetting why she was shopping (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Sam Wells discovered she had a brain tumour after forgetting why she was shopping (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS) | Brain Tumour Research / SWNS

Ms Wells, who works for the NHS as a specialist nursery nurse, said: “I had no idea what having a brain tumour meant. From that point everything was rushed.

“I wasn’t allowed to drive and had to call my husband and tell him the news. Next thing, I was having surgery where I had about 70% of the mass removed. I came out with 48 staples in my head after which I was referred to an oncologist who confirmed the mass was cancer.

“Everyone copes differently when faced with something so huge. For me and my family, we know there may not be a long future, so we feel encouraged to live in the present. It’s not about creating bucket lists but about living in each moment we get to spend together.”

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Sam Wells on the radiotherapy table (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)Sam Wells on the radiotherapy table (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Sam Wells on the radiotherapy table (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS) | Brain Tumour Research / SWNS

Ms Wells now has regular scans to monitor the remainder of the tumour and has to take life-long anti-seizure medication.

But she is refusing to let the ongoing treatment stop her in her tracks and is planning to run a month-long marathon challenge this month, alongside her daughter Megan, in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

The Jog 26.2 Miles in May challenge, which is now in its third year, raises vital funds to help find a cure for brain tumours. She has launched a Facebook page to help raise funds for the cause and has set a fundraising goal of £500.

Sam Wells is running a month-long marathon challenge with her daughter Megan (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)Sam Wells is running a month-long marathon challenge with her daughter Megan (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS)
Sam Wells is running a month-long marathon challenge with her daughter Megan (Photo: Brain Tumour Research / SWNS) | Brain Tumour Research / SWNS

She added: “I’ve got a decent walking pace but I’m not a runner. So far it’s been good to get out and I’ve completed seven miles. I have had amazing support from my teenage daughter, Megan, who is doing it with me alongside Woody, our Labrador-spaniel cross.”

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Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours, which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re extremely grateful to Sam for sharing her story and signing up to support the charity with an epic month-long challenge. Her willingness to share her story to raise awareness will help us in our vision to find a cure for all types of brain tumours.”

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