Mum-of-five vows to fight brain tumour for sake of her children
A MUM who has nursed two of her children through debilitating illnesses has been struck down with a brain tumour.
Mother-of-five Annette Pope has vowed to fight the disease for the sake of her children, including four-year-old son Alfie, who suffers from the rare Young Simpson Syndrome.
She said: “I’ve just got to get on with it.
“Because of my treatment, I’m supposed to stay away from anyone who is ill. But, with five children that’s just not possible. I’ll fight this for my family.
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“The kids have just been so great about it. They know I’m ill but I’ve got to stay positive.”
Two of the Popes’ five children – including Alfie – are lucky to be alive after being born with severe health problems.
Their youngest daughter Aimee, now six, suffered a diaphragmatic hernia in the womb. As a baby, she endured fits and had to be fed through a tube into her stomach. She has recovered and now goes to Leconfield Primary School.
Alfie – one of only ten people in the developed world to suffer his syndrome – cannot see properly or speak at all. He attends Frederick Holmes School in Hull.
Colleagues of Mrs Pope’s husband, Lance-Corporal Karl Pope, who works for the Military Provost Guard Service at the Defence School of Transport, have rallied round.
Help has also come from the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. Alfie’s smile lit up last Christmas when the charity bought him a specially designed bike.
Having been so strong for so long, Mrs Pope, 31, is determined to pull through her cancer battle.
She has now endured cranial surgery to remove most of the tumour and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Sitting alongside her husband at the family home in Leconfield near Beverley, Mrs Pope was joined by four of her Children: Jakob, 11, Mollie, ten, Lilie-Mae, eight, and Aimee, six. Lance-Corporal Pope said: “We’re each other’s support. If I didn’t have Annette, I’d be half a parent. While Annette has been ill, I’ve had to learn everything that she does.”
Lance-Corporal Pope fought back tears as he recalled his wife suffering the seizure that lead to her tumour being diagnosed.
He says: “Molly shouted me and I could tell it was serious from her voice.
“Annette had been having a bath. Luckily, the water was only a few inches deep. She wasn’t breathing. Molly dialled 999.
“I opened Annette’s airways but blood and foam was coming from her mouth. ”
At Hull Royal Infirmary, a scan revealed the huge swelling on Mrs Pope’s brain. She was put on anti-epileptic drugs and the decision was taken to operate.
Now sporting a bandana to hide her scars, Mrs Pope says: “They removed as much as they could of the tumour. They said there’s a small bit left.”
The Popes are resolutely optimistic and not prepared to contemplate anything other than a positive outcome. But they are well aware that grade-three brain tumours like Mrs Pope’s can spread.
Mrs Pope thanked staff at Hull Royal’s Neurological Surgery Ward 4.
He friend Sue Rogers ran the Bridlington half-marathon to raise funds for Ward 4, along with her husband Jason and another friend Claire Brown.
They were also raising money for breast cancer care.
Lilie-Mae and Mollie will be among the choir of Leconfield Primary School performing at Tesco in Beverley from 5pm to 6pm on Thursday to raise money for Ward 4.