Daughter of brain tumour Scot who asked ‘Is mum going to die?’ launche…

A young Scot is giving back to charity after being inspired by her mum’s brave brain tumour battle which saw her undergo 10 different operations.

Gillian Wilson was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma brain tumour, which was benign, in May 2010 after experiencing harsh headaches, dizziness and forgetfulness.

She was sent for an eye test and a later MRI at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where medics found the mass behind her pituitary gland.

After being admitted, daughter Alisha Wilson, then 11, was unable to see her mother for several weeks and asked the nurses: “Is mum going to die?”

Mum Gillian Wilson with Alisha

Thankfully doctors were able to remove the majority of the tumour but it soon grew back and filled with fluid.

A shunt was inserted which initially worked but Gillian, 51, has now experienced 10 different operations after having complications and suffers short-term memory loss.

Daughter Alisha, an assistant teacher, is now raising funds for Brain Tumour Research in a bid to stop others experiencing like her mum did.

She said: “This is a cause that’s really close to my heart. Who knows where my mum would be if it wasn’t for all of the research that has already been done?

“If we can get funding for more research, then maybe others don’t need to go by what Mum has.

“I was 11 at the time and didn’t have a clue what was going on. Mum was in hospital for weeks, and I wasn’t allowed in to see her.

Alisha and her dog Oslo will be completely a 10,000 steps a day challenge

“It was heart-breaking because I’m very close to mum. I asked the nurses ‘Is Mum going to die?’ but they reassured me that they were doing their best.”

Surgeons removed most of the tumour on June 6, 2010, and in the following months, Gillian was doing well.

But in September she became forgetful again after the tumour grew back and had filled up with fluid.

Alisha, now 23, explained: “The shunt managed to drain the fluid, but a few days later it had filled up again, so they operated on her again to fit a second shunt.

“Since the first operation she had several setbacks leading to another 10 operations between then and September 2010.”

Gillian, a mum-of-two, underwent six weeks of radiotherapy which resulted in her losing her hair.

In 2012, the double shunt had stopped working which led to Gillian having another six operations to resolve the issue.

Alisha said: “It has left Mum with lots of serious health matters, including two types of diabetes because her pituitary gland was removed. She now has no short-term memory at all.

“It’s crazy, she can tell you anything that happened before her first operation, but she couldn’t tell you what she had for dinner two hours ago.”

Alisha will walk 10,000 steps every day in February with her dog Oslo to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

Matthew Price, community development manager at the charity, said: “We’re really grateful to Alisha for taking on this challenge for us as it’s only with the sustain of people like her that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and enhance the outcome for patients like Gillian who are forced to fight this awful disease.

“The best part of the 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge is that you can fit your steps in with your everyday life.

“That could be having a coffee and catching up with friends at your local park, walking your commute or school run instead of driving, getting off the bus a few stops earlier or walking around your house whilst on the phone.

“You could already team up with friends or colleagues and complete your steps together.”

To donate, please click here.

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