Battle with brain tumour leads to ambassadorial role for Torquay nurse Alison
NURSE and mum Alison Chester, who has been battling a brain tumour, has become an ambassador for the Cavell Nurses' Trust.
Alison, who has raised thousands of pounds for the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2010.
Now she has spoken out about the Cavell Trust which supported her and her family when their lives were turned upside down.
The Torquay practice nurse had been unwell with headaches, sickness and blurred vision for six months before the diagnosis and had to hand her notice in as she was too ill to work.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
An MRI scan revealed a 5cm tumour. Following an operation and six weeks of radiotherapy, Alison underwent six months of chemotherapy.
It was a tough time for the family both emotionally and financially, Alison said.
Her husband, a heart failure specialist nurse, also lost shift allowances and overtime pay when he took time off to care for his wife.
Alison was put in touch with the Cavell Nurses' Trust via her GP.
"It was wonderful to have someone at the other end of the phone that I could talk to," she said. "Apart from the financial side, they gave me emotional support which was very important to me.
"At times like that your head is all over the place and I think that any support, whether it is emotional, physical or financial is a huge help."
Although the trust does not usually fund holidays, it said that it felt Alison's circumstances were exceptional and a grant was awarded for a therapeutic family break.
The family travelled to Scotland, where Alison grew up, and they stayed at a holiday park where they were joined by her sister and her children.
"It was the first time I've ever been on an extended family holiday so it was lovely to spend quality time together, especially as we had just been through a horrendous few months.
"We went away when I was between chemotherapy treatments so I was feeling well and could just enjoy myself without having the usual distractions that take over when you have a holiday at home."
Alison said she is so grateful to Cavell Nurses' Trust for being there when she needed the extra help and is now an ambassador for the charity.
She said: "I have worked as a nurse for years and I often felt that nurses don't get much back, so I was extremely grateful to Cavell Nurses' Trust who made me feel very supported. It is great to know there is an organisation out there that is specifically for nurses.
"I offered to be an Ambassador for Cavell Nurses' Trust because I want to spread the word so more nurses know that there is someone to turn to.
"Our family's financial circumstances have improved now our appropriate benefits are in place so I decided to donate a small amount to Cavell Nurses' Trust each month.
"I'd like to think that if there are others who are in the same situation as me, there are enough funds to help them too."