Exmouth brain tumour survivor Helen scoots for charity
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 June 2019
An Exmouth mum whose brain-tumour surgery left her with a titanium eye socket and an eyelid that will not open has scooted from Exeter to Exmouth for charity.
Mother-of-two Helen Paterson has been using a scooter for about three years, but she says she took a break in 2018 when she had surgery to remove a meningioma brain tumour.
But now Helen, who runs a Slimming World group in Topsham, has hopped back onto the scooter as part of her fundraising efforts for Brain Tumour Support.
She hopes to raise a total of £1,000 for the charity and said she wanted to do something different to get the final £100.
But Helen has already smashed her £100 target, having raised more than £190.
She said: "I've been fundraising for a year and am close to raising £1,000 for Brain Tumour Support before my big birthday in July.
"I started scootering back in 2016 but haven't done that much since my craniotomy in January 2018, and even negotiating the roads on foot is still a challenge.
"I'm hoping to get my driving licence back soon, so I thought this would be good practice, and it was certainly the furthest I've ever travelled on the scooter in one journey."
Helen was diagnosed in 2017.
The tumour had invaded so much of her eye socket she had to have it replaced with a titanium plate.
She has also been left with nerve damage in her eyelid and part of her face.
Helen said: "I do still have the odd moment where I suddenly get upset at having lost the 'old me'.
"But it's ridiculous, really, because - let's face it - it's a broken eyelid. Perspective is everything in situations like this. If being alive means having to have a broken eyelid for the rest of my life, I think I got off lightly."
Helen said she had been attending a Brain Tumour Support group in Exeter.
"They have also helped me realise that there is no 'back to normal' after the experience I have been through. There is instead a 'new normal', and that's OK."
Brain Tumour Support is dedicated to supporting patients, families, friends and carers.
Anyone who wants to help Helen boost her total can go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HelenPatterson10