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Charity launches brain tumour awareness videos to fulfil wish of hairdresser Leighanne Easton

Leighanne Easton, prior to her illness.
Leighanne Easton, prior to her illness.

The mum of an Aberdeenshire hairdresser who died of a brain tumour six years ago says a new awareness campaign will honour her wish of helping others to overcome the deadly disease.

Leighanne Easton, from Premnay near Insch, was diagnosed with a tumour in July 2013 after suffering from chronic headaches, double vision, sickness and other conditions since January of that year.

She died the following January at the age of just 26.

But in her final months, Leighanne, also known as Lilly, kept up a positive attitude and ticked off a bucket list of things she wanted to do with her loved ones before she died.

She also spent a great deal of her time working to raise awareness of brain tumours in people her age.

Her family teamed up with Brain Tumour Action (BTA) to further her mission, and is backing the charity’s new Bang On The Door campaign.

The new initiative aims to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in young adults – the fourth most common cancer in the age group – and get those with worries to keep “banging the door” of their doctors to get a diagnosis at an early stage.

Leighanne’s mother Gail Easton said #BangOnTheDoor was partly inspired by her daughter’s story, as it took many months of persistence before a scan revealed the tumour.

She said: “Leighanne was going to the doctors from January with headaches, but then when things got worse by April and May she just couldn’t stand any noise or light.

“The doctors kept putting it down to migraines, chronic headaches, or painkiller headaches.

“It got to one day where she was in bed and complaining about the smell of a banana field outside.

“She had lived in Tenerife for a while, so she was hallucinating.

“They took her into ARI, and when she first went into the accident and emergency ward the medics there said the same thing, that it was a painkiller headache or this, that and the other.

“They scanned her the next day and found a tumour the size of a golf ball, and that was July.

“Six months later in January, she died.”

BTA has launched six short videos online illustrating the symptoms to look out for, which include but are not limited to severe fatigue, memory problems, double vision, one-sided weakness or numbness, slurred speech and changes of personality that are noticed by others.

In the videos, various brain tumour patients within the 18 to 39 range tell their stories, and actors recount the tales.

Mrs Easton added: “From the minute she was diagnosed, she said she didn’t want anybody else to have to go through what she did trying to get a diagnosis.

“This really is Lilly’s legacy, it’s what she would have wanted.

“I’d say to anyone that’s concerned about symptoms to keep pushing hard, keep going to the doctors, and bang on the door.”

To find out more information about the charity and #BangOnTheDoor, visit www.braintumouraction.org.uk or find them on Facebook.

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