BY CALUM FRASER
A university student with a tumour in her brain is pleading with the public to help her fund an operation abroad.
Bermondsey girl Christy Kelsey, 26, was studying law at university when she found out last November that she had a pineal cystic tumour in her brain.
Her only hope to rid herself of the tumour is to raise thousands of pounds to get an operation abroad as there are no surgeons in the UK who do it.
She’s now taken a year off university and started a crowdfunding page to try and achieve this goal.
Christy said: “I do not know what I did yesterday, let alone do an exam. I’m taking this year to try and cure myself and get rid of this tumour.”
It will cost her £30,000 to travel to Germany and have the operation there.
She said: “There are only six surgeons in the world who can do this kind of operation.
There’s a few surgeons in the US but that will cost hundred’s of thousands.
The cheapest option is in Germany.”
The student had been experiencing headaches and nausea for almost 10 years before it was diagnosed.
It built up to the point where it was almost unbearable in November last year.
She went into her GP at St Thomas’ Hospital. They sent her straight to A&E.
Christy, who lives with her mother and 11-year-old brother in Chambers Street close to Jamaica Road, said: “The doctor told me she thought I had a bleed in my brain. “I was shocked, obviously.
But at the same time, I weirdly felt like I knew it was coming. I decided quite quickly, okay, let’s deal with this.
“Straight away I called mum and she rushed over. My family are really good. I thought they would be down about it, but they’re positive and supportive.”
In November, she would experience symptoms about once a week. Now she says it is almost every day.
She said: “The symptoms are ridiculous. You get this pressure in your head, like your brain is being squeezed.
I get memory loss, blurred vision, sudden blindness and I feel sick.
“It’s really taken over now.
“The tumour is also in the area that regulates sleep, so I get about five hours maximum a night.”
In her last scan, the benign tumour was 8mm long. She has had another and will be getting her results next week.
So far she has not received any treatment for the pain, but there is the prospect that she will receive steroid injections into her head if it does not improve.
She said: “There’s a group I found on Facebook of people with the same condition as me. It’s really comforting. We talk about the problems and people who have had surgery have been telling me about the experience they had.
“You know they understand what you are dealing with.”
A pineal cystic tumour is not fatal.
We contacted Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Trust but they were unable to respond before we went to press.
To donate to Christy’s cause go to www.gofundme.com/surgery-for-pineal-cystic-tumor