A young mum who survived two rounds of brain surgery has graduated from university with first class honours.
Jemma McGlone, aged 26, underwent surgery in 2006 and then in 2012 to take away fluid surrounding her inoperable benign brain tumour.
As well bringing up her son Mason, now four, Jemma continued with her studies at Liverpool John Moore’s University despite suffering from severe headaches and getting tired very easily.
In fact Mason spent many an evening in the university library with Jemma while she studied forensics.
Jemma’s mum Margaret Arstall, of Ramsey, said: ‘She came out as one of the top students in her year even with everything she has had to endure.’
She added: ‘Lecturers always said what an amazing young girl she is. She was one of the oldest in the class when she graduated. She was the mum of the group, she kept them together.’
Jemma, a former Scoill Vallajeelt and King William’s College pupil, lives with her partner Mark and is looking forward to starting work for the NHS in Liverpool next month.
Margaret said: ‘She is now back on yearly scans which is fantastic, and she will be for the rest of her life. We are just so grateful that Jemma’s tumour is benign.
‘But because of where it is, in the centre of her brain, surgeons are unable to remove it.’
Jemma was one of the first beneficiaries of Naseem’s Manx Brain Tumour Charity, set up by Naseem Pishvaie, who died as a result of her tumour in 2009, and has been continued by mum Gerry.And in fact Jemma was treated in 2006 at Walton Neurological Centre, Liverpool, at the same time as Naseem.
The charity offers advice and financial support to brain tumour sufferers in the Isle of Man. It paid for Jemma to enjoy pamper days and Gerry provided constant support.
Margaret, who is married to Tim, is one of the trustees of Naseem’s Manx Brain Tumour Charity.
The charity’s Headsmart campaign is aimed at raising awareness of symptoms of brain tumours, and reducing the time from symptom onset to diagnosis to five weeks. Leaflets are in GP surgeries and the charity wants to get them distributed to schools.
The trustees work hard to fundraise and this year have a Christmas card designed by Rebecca, a brain tumour sufferer, as well as a calendar of Manx scenes photos donated by Peter Bull.
Contact Naseemscharity@manx.net for further information.