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[p]We did it!! We made the long walk up and down Ben Nevis on the 14th July as planned on a rare glorious sunny day in the Highlands. I literally felt on top of the world! It was an amazing day and a huge achievement - certainly not something I was expecting to do less than 2 years after my brain surgery. Thank you to everyone for their support.[/p][p][br][/p][p]My story: In June 2017 I was diagnosed with a large Acoustic Neuroma – a rare brain tumour - and 3 months later I had to have surgery to remove it. There were unexpected complications and some exceptional surgeons, to whom I am eternally grateful, saved my life in October, but unfortunately my surgeries resulted in some unavoidable short and long term impacts to my life and to the life of my family. [/p][p][br][/p][p]This July, 2 years on and after having to learn to balance and walk independently again, I am walking to the summit of Ben Nevis accompanied by my amazing neuro physio Jane Cast of Neuro Rehab Kent. Although it will be a tough challenge for me with compromised balance and movement systems and I may get wobbly at times, don’t worry I’m in very good hands! Walking with us will be Jane’s husband Michael, our more than qualified mountain guide, and also taking on the challenge is my dedicated friend Morag Smith who has been with me at pretty much every stage of this journey, even at the doors to theatre which was a big ask of anyone - sorry! [/p][p][br][/p][p]I have many amazing therapists, surgeons and healthcare professionals to thank for my recovery to date, and I am grateful to each and every one of them. We are still working hard for more recovery every day. Because we really haven't come this far, to only come this far. Life has changed forever but there is still so much to work towards. [/p][p][br][/p][p]A year ago in rehab I never thought I would be able to contemplate climbing a mountain and fulfilling a personal ambition, I thought that dream was over. But thanks to the positivity and unwavering belief of Jane, who was so sure I could do it she said she’d accompany me, here we are….[/p][p][br][/p][p]To mark this significant milestone I would like to raise money for 2 charities close to my heart and would be very grateful for any support you could give to help fund the valuable work they do:[/p][p][br][/p][p][b]The Brain Tumour Charity[/b][/p][p]Brain Tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 yet research has been significantly underfunded and survival rates remain very low. A benign brain tumour (like mine) can cause as much damage as a cancerous one, and there is so much work to be done to understand the causes and treatment of all types of brain tumours (over 130 of them) and to improve the quality of life of those affected.[/p][p]The Brain Tumour Charity is the world's leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally.[/p][p][br][/p][p][b]Facial Palsy UK[/b][/p][p]Over 100,000 people are thought to be affected by facial palsy in the UK. There are no nationally funded trials investigating treatment or cures. The long term impact of facial palsy is immense and should not be underestimated. Facial Palsy UK is committed to both research into treatment, cures and improving rehabilitation, and to raising awareness of the condition to ensure people can access the support they need. [/p][p]I’ve been very fortunate in having access to excellent support, surgical expertise and rehabilitation therapy for the facial palsy my tumour left me with, without which my life would be very different. [/p][p][br][/p]