Fundraising success for Exmouth brain tumour patient Kym Byrne

PUBLISHED: 11:30 03 November 2018

Exmouth Musical Theatre Company members wore 'Grey for a Day' to raise funds for Brainstrust. Picture: Contributed

Exmouth Musical Theatre Company members wore 'Grey for a Day' to raise funds for Brainstrust. Picture: Contributed

Contributed

Kym Byrne is working to raise money for the charity Brainstrust which helped her cope with her condition

Kymmy Byrne, who has been treated for a brain tumour. Picture: ContributedKymmy Byrne, who has been treated for a brain tumour. Picture: Contributed

A member of Exmouth Musical Theatre Company who is recovering from a potentially lethal brain tumour has already raised more than £2,250 for a brain cancer charity, and is hoping to push the total even higher.

Kym Byrne from Exmouth is being supported in her fundraising by her friends at the Musical Theatre Company, where she is also treasurer.

Kym had suffered from migraines and dizzy spells for two years before the tumour was diagnosed through an eye test. She believes that the test, at Boots Opticians in Exmouth, was the start of the process which saved her life. The opticians referred her to the RD&E hospital in Exeter in July, and from there she was sent to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth for an emergency scan. It detected a tumour so large it had changed the size, shape and position of her brain. Fortunately the tumour was non-malignant, but the surgery to remove it led to Kym having a quarter of her skull removed.

Throughout her diagnosis and treatment Kym has received tremendous help and support from the charity Brainstrust UK. It is dedicated to supporting brain tumour patients and their families, providing patients with information to help them understand and live with their condition, and organising events where they can meet other patients and carers in their area. Kym is now spending her convalescent time fighting to increase awareness of Brainstrust UK and raise funds for its work.

Exmouth Musical Theatre Company members wore 'Grey for a Day' to raise funds for Brainstrust. Picture: ContributedExmouth Musical Theatre Company members wore 'Grey for a Day' to raise funds for Brainstrust. Picture: Contributed

“I am still suffering severe complications from the surgery, and awaiting probably another life-changing operation to solve the issues I am having,” she said. “But these are the cards I was dealt, and I firmly believe that if I can’t help at least one person, all this nonsense and pain would have been for nothing.”

On October 1 she joined the charity’s national fundraising drive, Wear Grey For a Day, with a target of £200. Within a few days she had reached £2,259.93 – more than ten times the amount she had expected. Her friends at Exmouth Musical Theatre Company helped the fundraising by holding a Wear Grey rehearsal for their forthcoming production Music of the Night, and will be holding a raffle and bucket collection for Brainstrust UK at every performance.

Kym believes it is vital to raise money for brain cancer research: “As the diagnostics have improved, more people are being diagnosed, but the research funds unfortunately have not increased. I am one of the luckier ones and on the way to recovering to my new normal, but some people are facing this hardship alone. If you are coming to see the show, remember every donation large or small will make a difference to someone.”

Music of the Night features a collection of the Company’s favourite songs from previous productions, and hits from some of the hottest West End shows. It is at the Exmouth Pavilion Theatre from Wednesday, November 21 until Saturday 24. Tickets are available from the box office or online at www.ledtickets.co.uk. To donate to Kym’s fundraising, text KYMB83 £5 (or more) to 70070 or go to her JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kymmy-newton.

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