WHEN mum Emma Williams noticed a change in her daughter’s left eye, she made sure to mention it at her little one’s next routine check-up.
But what the 37-year-old thought to be a lazy eye was much more sinister.
Days after the GP appointment, two-year-old Peggy started to develop ptosis, which is a drooping of the upper eyelid and her eye didn’t move.
Her parents then insisted on a further face-to-face appointment with their GP in Corsham, Wiltshire.
Peggy was then referred to the Royal United Hospital in Bath where medics investigated what had caused the change in her eye.
They found no problems with her sight and Peggy then had to have an MRI scan.
The results showed that Peggy had a small lump on the top of her optic nerve.
The family had to go through five months of MRI scans and Peggy also had to have a lumbar puncture to drain excess fluid, and an unsuccessful round of steroids to try to shrink the tumour.
Peggy also had to have a ten-and-a-half hour operation at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Surgeons were unable to remove the mass because of its size and location, and could only take a biopsy.
In August 2021, Peggy was diagnosed with low-grade meningioma.
A meningioma (pronounced men-in-gee-oh-ma) is a tumour that grows in the set of 3 membranes just inside the skull, called the meninges, the Brain Tumour Charity states.
Low grade tumours are serious and refer to tumours graded 1 or 2 which are usually slow growing.
Mum-of-four Emma is now wanting to raise awareness of the condition and help others who might be going through a similar situation.
She is taking on Brain Tumour Research’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge.
Emma said that to look at Peggy, ‘you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with her’.
She said: “She’s the most independent and bubbly child – always causing mayhem on the hospital ward and running around the corridors.
“The first six months were dreadful as we didn’t have a diagnosis. As time goes on, we are slowly finding out what we are dealing with.
Need to know: brain tumours and sight problems
One in three people living with a brain tumour have vision problems due to their tumours or treatment.
Sight difficulties can include:
- Partial or full loss of sight
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Facial palsy and dry eyes
- Abnormal eye movement
These sight difficulties can be caused by: position of tumour, swelling of optic disc, pressure on optic nerve or effects of treatment, says The Brain Tumour Charity.
“What we’ve had to deal with as a family over the last five years has been incredibly difficult and I’ve had support for anxiety and depression.”
Emma explained that walking everywhere has given her time to reflect on everything their family has had to endure.
She added: “Taking part in this challenge is so important to us as a family to help others who might be going through something similar.
”If we can help even a small amount and raise awareness then that’s all we could ask for.”
Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re sorry to hear about Peggy’s diagnosis and what the family has been through over the last few years and we wish them well during Peggy’s treatment.
“It’s incredible that Emma is using her 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge to support others who may be going through a similar situation.”
So far Emma has raised over £300 for the charity.