A ROMSEY beautician, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour after visiting the optician, is working with Brain Tumour Research to help raise awareness.

Katie Dunn, 30, said a routine eye test at Boots Opticians in Romsey ‘saved her life’ after she was later diagnosed with a meningioma.

After noticing an abnormality in both eyes, in February 2021, she was referred for an MRI scan at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. Results showed a large tumour on her brain.

She has since had two surgeries and, in December last year, underwent fertility preservation before starting radiotherapy.

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The 30-year-old business owner said: “I feel like the eye test saved my life and eyesight – as if it was left any longer, I could have lost my vision completely due to it pressing on my optic nerve.

“The type of tumour I have is slow growing which means I could have had it for years. Had it been left undetected then it could have caused other issues, both life-changing and even life-limiting. I rely on my eyesight for my job, and I drive too, so it would take away my livelihood and independence.”

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Between surgery and treatment for her brain tumour, Katie and her family raised almost £3,000 for Brain Tumour Research by taking part in 10,000 Steps a Day, which is back for 2023.

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Katie is now monitored with regular scans. She said: “I’ve had some hair loss where the radiotherapy was targeting the mass and my nose and throat are still recovering from the second surgery as they cut away what they could of the tumour via my nose. Other than that, I feel fortunate to be able to share my story to help raise awareness. I’m incredibly thankful to my neurosurgeon, Mr Mathad and radiotherapy consultant Dr Enrico Clarke who have looked after me.

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“It has made me realise that even when you don’t feel that you’re strong enough to deal with something like this, when it comes to it you somehow find the strength within you.”

To sign up to the charity challenge, people are invited to join a Brain Tumour Research Facebook Group or set up a JustGiving page.

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “The best part is that you can complete your steps wherever you are. Head to your local park and enjoy the fresh air. Take a new route around your community every day. Walk on the treadmill at the gym. Go for a wander during your lunch break at work. Stay home and complete your steps around your house or garden. It’s your challenge, your way.

“We’re grateful to Katie for sharing her story with us as well as fundraising an incredible amount and we wish her well with her ongoing scans.”