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A mum-of-three whose brain tumour symptoms were initially mistaken for panic attacks has been told her tumour is stable a year after her diagnosis.

Catherine Wilcockson, 37, from Sheffield, said her latest scan results were the best news she could have hoped for.

There was double cause for celebration as the MRI results came on the day Catherine’s youngest daughter Shani, who found her mum after she suffered her first seizure, celebrated her 10th birthday.

Catherine, a school kitchen assistant, had feared the worst when the final two rounds of her ongoing chemotherapy were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and it was deemed too risky for her to continue with the treatment.

She said: “Having been through surgery, then radiotherapy, I was worried about not being able to complete my chemotherapy but getting that phone call from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital just six days after my scan was just incredible.

“I was told that I was being discharged and given the all clear until my next scan in six months’ time. A year ago I was having an awake craniotomy which was successful in removing 80 per cent of the tumour.

“Now the remaining 20 per cent has been shrunk and there’s just five per cent left.

“It is the news I could only have dared to hope for, it’s as close to a cure as I’m going to get and I feel as if the nightmare I have been living for 12 months is over.”

Catherine was diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocytoma and while she knows there is a chance it could grow back, she is optimistic about the future.

Her panic attack-like symptoms were initially misdiagnosed and she was wrongly prescribed antidepressants.

She is working with the charity Brain Tumour Research to share her story and, together with Shani, is taking part in its ‘Wear A Hat Day With Flowers’ on Friday, June 19.

The day will see people holding virtual get togethers, or in person where social distancing rules allow, to don their favourite hats adorned with flowers and raise money for the cause.

Catherine said: “Research is the only hope if there are to be better treatment options in the future for patients like me.

“It’s appalling to think that this disease kills more children and adults under the age of 40 yet, historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“I have three beautiful children and a lot to live for so I am not giving up and I am determined to help others too.”

Wear A Day with Flowers takes part at the end of British Flowers Week and is being launched by BBC TV’s Instant Gardener who lost his beloved sister Margot to a brain tumour at the age of 52.

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