A mother who has been treated for an aggressive brain tumour three times is backing a petition calling for more investment in finding a cure for the disease.

Emily Corrigan, 34, was originally diagnosed with the tumour, which had been growing without her knowing for up to 10 years, in 2015 after a severe seizure.

She had been experiencing regular headaches for around two years prior but put it down to being a busy mother to her four young children, Sonny, now 13, Harvey, 10, and eight-year-old twins, Francesca and Annabel.

The mother-of-four from Watford said: “When the kids were ill, I could be backward and forward to the doctors several times a week, but somehow, I just didn’t find the time or energy to go back for the sake of my own health.”

Emily was rushed to Watford General Hospital after her seizure and was put into a medically induced coma.

She was subsequently diagnosed with a grade 2 diffuse astrocytoma that she learned had been growing undetected for up to 10 years.

Emily had the tumour surgically removed but was told she had a 50/50 chance of it returning.

In October 2018 she was told the tumour had begun growing again and had surgery the following January. 

But just three months later, Emily’s tumour had returned yet again.

Watford Observer: Emily Corrigan Emily Corrigan

She received radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy, completing her treatment in August 2020.

Emily said: “It was shocking to find there was such an early recurrence, but I had to tell myself to stop thinking of ‘what ifs’ and just get on with believing in miracles. I try not to focus on my tumour because it’s something I can’t control and try to remain positive for the children.

“They are the thing that keeps me going and I have to stay as normal as possible for them.”

Now, Emily and her family are supporting the charity Brain Tumour Research by calling on the public to sign its petition to increase the national investment into brain tumour research to £35 million a year.

Emily has worked with the charity to create a moving video about her own brain tumour experience to encourage others to pledge their support. The video is being shared widely across social media. 

Emily said: “I used to worry about ageing but now I look at old ladies walking down the street with their shopping trollies and really hope that will be me one day.

“This disease claims far too many lives, but more funding for research can help make sure this doesn’t happen. We desperately need more treatments and hopefully one day, researchers will find a cure.”

Historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours.

Hugh Adams, spokesman for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Brain tumours still kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet despite promises of increased investment in research from the Government and larger cancer charities, we are still not seeing parity of funding with other cancers such as breast, prostate and leukaemia. This is not acceptable and we will continue to push for change until this injustice has been resolved.

“We are grateful to the many people who have already signed our petition and the families who continue to share their heart-breaking stories to help us raise awareness and to drive change.”

The charity is aiming to get 100,000 signatures by March which is national Brain Tumour Awareness Month. 

You can sign the petition here