An inspirational local woman who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour and continues to live with epilepsy is dedicating herself to helping others in similar circumstances as she continues to rebuild her life.
Fifty-year-old Victoria Watson-Bradley, who lives on the Barbican Plymouth and has two daughters and two grandchildren, is fundraising to enable her to make the BrainSET (seizures, epilepsy and tumours) app she has spent the past year developing available to people affected by these conditions.
Her aim is to help them avoid the stressful and exhausting process she endured when trying to find the support, advice and resources necessary to aid her recovery. Until 2016, Victoria – who is originally from Swansea South Wales – lived a happy, busy life in Spain where she worked long hours as a holiday rep, a job she hugely enjoyed but which meant being miles away from her family.
Just a year after returning to Plymouth to be nearer to her family, she suffered a seizure while out walking and was subsequently diagnosed with a meningioma, a slow-growing, non-cancerous brain tumour.
Not only did she require a ten-hour operation to remove it, she now lives with epilepsy and has regular seizures that mean she is unable to return to her previous work or drive.
Following her brain surgery, Victoria found it difficult and exhausting to find the information she needed to help her adjust to such a huge, life-changing event, and was left with no alternative but to spend weeks online, painstakingly navigating her way to relevant and helpful advice and support.
It was this frustrating experience at an already very challenging time that started her thinking there had to be a better way for her and others living with brain tumours, epilepsy and seizures to find the right help faster and more easily.
Victoria said: “After brain surgery, it is not a case of life carrying on as before because your whole world has been turned upside down and you have so many big changes to adjust to, not just physically but emotionally and financially too. It’s a massive adjustment for your family and friends too. “At what should be a time of recouperation, you can find that you’re using up lots of precious energy trying to find out what you need to know about everything from how to claim benefits, because you are no longer able to work, to where you can go to get emotional and practical help for you and your family.
Not only can it feel exhausting and frustrating, it can leave you feeling pretty isolated.” The BrainSET app will include information and links to all aspects of help from financial advice, support & information from the relevant professionals, types of brain tumours and epilepsy and links to finding counselling services for those who live with brain tumours and epilepsy as well as help for their loved ones.
Victoria also wants to help connect people with brain tumours and epilepsy with others facing similar challenges of their own, building a support network that she hopes will make them feel better understood and supported. Victoria, who needs to raise £6,800 towards the launch of the app, plans to make part of the app available free of charge, with a subscription payable for those who want to access the additional information on nutrition, fitness, complementary therapies, meditation and mindset all focusing solely on brain health as well as regular meet ups, guest speakers, medication alarm and seizure journal and regular updates on the services in the app.
With any profit she makes, she will be making a donation to brain tumour research and epilepsy charities to further the vital service they provide. Victoria said: “Brain tumour research is woefully underfunded so I really want to do my bit to support it. It’s so important that people affected by the conditions – and those who love and care for them – have hope that there will be more effective treatments in the future and one day a cure.”
More adults under 40 and children die from a bain tumour than any other cancer. 1 in 20 people will have some sort of seizure during their lifetime, some won’t know it’s a seizure, some will live with regular seizures and some will die from a seizure. Anyone wanting to make a donation towards the launch of the BrainSET app can do so via Victoria’s fundraising page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/brainset-app
Anyone who would like to pre register an interest in the app and its launch please go to https://www.brainset.co.uk/brainset
BrainSET can be found on : Facebook BrainSET Instagram brainset_ Twitter @Brainset1 Youtube BrainSET Victoria Podcast https://brainset.podbean.com and more information contact Victoria on LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/victoria-watson-bradley-a841601b7/
Release ID: 89031250