1 March 2021

Guest Blogger Kate Bradley

March is Brain Tumour Awareness Month and we want to highlight the incredible treatment of patients with brain tumours across our hospitals.

Kate had a brain tumour when she was 10 and here she shares her experience of being a patient at Bristol Children's Hospital.

Last year, to say thank you for the care she received as a child, Kate ran the virtual London Marathon raising £1,500.

My brain tumour was found by an optician. I had headaches for many years, but I don’t think we were prepared that it could be anything serious.

After the optician spotted an abnormality, everything happened very quickly. I arrived at Bristol Children’s Hospital, Frenchay, as it was then called, and had surgery the next day. I was back at home a week later.

At 10-years-old I was unaware of the stress that my parents experienced, but my strongest memory from my time in hospital was honestly the smiles on the nurses’ faces. They were always so smiley and happy to see each other. Now I can understand that they were most likely tired, physically and emotionally, but that never came across to me as a young patient. They always provided me with games at my bedside and chatted away with me effortlessly. Nothing was too much for them.

I wanted to fundraise for Above & Beyond so I could raise money to be spent on fun activities for children while in hospital. I was obsessed with hama beads, colour in, Connect Four and LEGO at the time, and these activities turned a scary time for my family into a positive experience for me. Play was hugely beneficial to my recovery, promoting my positive attitude as well as my dexterity and fine motor skills.

If me running many miles in the pouring rain can raise funds to give children a positive experience while in hospital, then every step will be worth it!

Apply now for a place in this year’s virtual London Marathon