Brain Injury Awareness Week begins next Monday 19thAugust
Brain Injury Awareness Week is devoted to brain tumour – when abnormal cells grow and form a mass or lump. A brain tumour may be cancerous (“malignant”) or not (“benign”). While two-thirds of brain tumours are “benign”, they result in the deaths of around 300 Australians each year.
After returning home to Brisbane from her dream holiday in Europe, doctors found a “benign” tumour at the centre of 24 year-old Kate Channer’s brain. Because the tumour was blocking the flow of vital cerebro-spinal fluid around her brain, a drain to her stomach – known as a “shunt” – was inserted to relieve the pressure building inside Kate’s skull.
8 years on, and after 9 neurosurgical procedures, this shunt – like the 2 before it – is failing. “My neurosurgeons told me to expect another year out of this shunt,” Kate recalls. “That was over a year ago now. Since then, I’m getting new symptoms. I’m dizzy. All the time. And the pain is increasing. I’m now taking up to 13 painkillers a day.”
With the understanding of her healthcare professionals and the acceptance of her family, Kate has decided against further surgery. “Mentally and emotionally, I cannot do it. But what I can do is tackle the huge lack of awareness of brain injury that I experienced, to tell the broader community about the challenges people like me face.”
“Brain Injury Australia is just so honoured that Kate, with the time she has, has so generously included raising awareness about a disability experienced by 730,000 Australians on her bucket list,” says Brain Injury Australia’s Executive Officer, Nick Rushworth.
Kate will be guest of honour at the “Unity in Hope Fundraising Concert” for Brain Injury Australia – at the Bethania Community Centre, 88-118 Station Road, Bethania, Brisbane on Saturday August 31st between noon and 5 p.m.