A mum-of-three who worked on the front lines during the first wave of coronavirus is raising awareness for brain tumor research after a shock diagnosis.
Once the nationwide lockdown was announced in March 2020 and the fight against coronavirus took precedence over everything else, Vikki Parker worked weekly shifts of up to 13 hours a day at Wigan Hospital.
Working through months like this, Vikki, a Bickershaw Nursing Assistant, said the migraines and panic attacks she thought she was suffering from were side effects of the immense stress she was under during this time.
Unaware that these issues were symptomatic of something more serious, Vikki then suffered a complete seizure in September 2020.
After further medical examination, the 40-year-old was given the devastating diagnosis of a grade 3 brain tumour.
Vikki, whose self-employed husband was unable to work during lockdown, said: “It was just something so unexpected.
“I’m putting it all on being really overworked, overtired and working under such pressure.
“You never knew what to expect in those first few months, but you just do what you have to do as a mother and move on.”
Although grade 3 tumors can be more difficult to treat, doctors told Vikki she was “lucky” that her diagnosis was caught early and that they could work to remove the tumor quickly.
After six weeks of radiation therapy at Salford Royal Hospital and a year of chemotherapy in Manchester, Vikki underwent regular scans at Christie’s Cancer Unit in Wigan until she was given the all clear earlier this year.
In awe of the ‘incredible’ care she received, the mum-of-three is now raising money for brain tumor research as only 1% of cancer research funding goes to the world’s biggest killer. cancer in people under 40.
This has involved months of networking with local businesses for a supported fundraising project and raffle that will raise vital funds for the research charity.
Vikki added: “Having done my own research and met many people locally who have suffered from brain tumours, I can’t believe how common they are.
“You don’t hear enough about it so I wanted to do something good and raise awareness about the disease.”
Raising around £1,600 so far, Vikki added: “I have been overwhelmed with the support I have received so far and have had family, friends and around 40 local businesses who have Donate to the raffle.”
Vikki’s draw is set to be revealed on Saturday, April 11. For more information follow this link and you can donate to Brain Tumor Research here