Emma aims to walk to raise brain cancer awareness

Emma Sinclair has been battling with brain cancer for the last 12 months and this Sunday, September 26 she will be walking 10km to raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research.

She will be walking around the lake as part of the Walk4BrainCancer on Sunday morning.

This is an annual event that is usually hosted across Sydney, but due to the effects of COVID-19 has gone virtual this year with people encouraged around the state to join in.

Emma said brain cancer receives less than 5% of federal government cancer research funding although it kills more people under 40 in Australia than any other cancer.

According to the Cancer Council there are more than 40 major types of brain tumours, which are grouped into two main types: benign and malignant.

Benign brain tumours types are usually slow-growing and unlikely to spread. Malignant tumours are usually cancerous and able to spread into other parts of the brain or spinal cord.

Emma was diagnosed with a rarer type of brain cancer; polycystic astrocytoma with anaplastic transformation 12 months ago.

Emma said she went up to Parkes hospital several times complaining of headaches, nausea and dizziness among other symptons before it was decided she needed an MRI.

The day after getting the MRI Emma got a call to go straight to the hospital.

Emma said she initially tried to brush it off as she was planning to see her neurosurgeon in two weeks for a prior condition of neurofibromatosis.

However, Emma was convinced to go down to the hospital that day where she was informed that she had a growth on the brain and medical staff were worried she may have a seizure from the pressure,

"I remember calling mum who was on class and she dropped everything and came to Parkes. I was flown to Sydney that afternoon; they wouldn't even let me drive with mum in case I had a seizure on the way." Emma said,

The next day she was operated on where the polycystic part was removed, although doctors couldn't remove the rest of the tumour.

What was initially supposed to be 10 days in hospital, Emma was able to leave after 106 days in hospital with over 90 days spent in the ICU.

Some of the reasons Emma said she had to stay so long included having more shunts put into her brain to help fluid drain properly as well as brain and stomach infections.

"I actually don't remember most of my time in hospital but I do remember all my ICU nurses and physios," she said.

"I remember my ICU nurses just sitting down to have a chat, they made me feel so content and comfortable, they made me feel human and not just like a number on a page or as just a patient," Emma said.

Emma's brain cancer is incurable however it is treatable with the use of chemotherapy.

'I can't control the fact I have brain cancer. But I can control how I respond to it.

"I still have a long road ahead but my god I've come a long way," Emma said.

To support Emma on her walk or to donate towards brain cancer research visit https://my.walk4braincancer.com.au/virtual-2021/team-emma.