Georgia Wood-Wareing is a teenager from Lytham St Annes in Lancashire who was treated at The Christie having being diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, a rare type of brain tumour that affects the pituitary gland.
She said: “I was 16 and in my last year of school, looking forward to my GCSEs when I started suffering from headaches and then blurred vision. I went to see a few doctors who could not discover what the problem was before I saw a neurologist who sent me for an MRI scan.”
Diagnosed at Christmas
The results of Georgia’s scan revealed her brain tumour and she was diagnosed on December 23rd 2016, three days before she and her family were meant to spend the rest of the festive period on holiday in Dubai.
After two operations in early 2017, Georgia was told they had not been able to remove all of the tumour and she was referred to The Christie for proton beam therapy.
“I had one operation through my nose and one through my head but however it wasn’t safe to remove the whole tumour. On top of this, after my first operation, they found out I was allergic to morphine, which caused even further difficulties.”
Georgia then travelled to a specialist proton beam therapy centre in Jacksonville, Florida accompanied by her mum, Sally. She had two months of intensive proton beam treatment there five days a week.
Didn’t want to come back from America
“The support we received in America was amazing. I cannot thank them enough for how easy and comfortable they made it for me.
“The staff were amazing and so helpful. They did everything they could to make us feel at home. We were lucky enough to also make friends with another young girl along with her mum, who was also having treatment, as well as another family from Sussex and we are still in touch today.
“They even got me back in time to see the Coldplay concert in Manchester I’d booked the year before. Otherwise, I could have happily stayed.”
Georgia even got to go on a school hockey tour to Australia and attended her school prom weeks after returning from her treatment in Florida.
Recovery and going to university
Georgia, now 18, has regular checkups but believes the support she received has helped her get her life back.
“I cannot thank Dr Rao Gattamaneni enough. I am so grateful for all his kindness, help and support and I am always so glad to see him, as he has been so wonderful, as was everybody who supported my trip to America.”
Having only managed to take three GCSEs, she has credited her school for the support they have given her and is she is now looking forward to starting a Psychology degree at Bangor University in September.
“My school were fantastic and allowed me to carry on to do my A Levels, and they even made me head girl which was amazing and thanks to them, I am thankfully now off to study at university.”
New outlook on life
“This has changed me so much as a person. I no longer worry about things I used to. Everything happens for a reason and I now no longer get stressed by the little things.
“Proton beam therapy has given me my life back and I am now so much more confident and live life to the full.”