On what would have just about been her 30th birthday, two sisters are holding a charity event in Harrogate in memory of a family member who lost a heartbreaking battle against brain cancer.
This Saturday night, August 5, will see Rebecca and Melissa Foulis holding an auction, food and drink and club night at The Viper Rooms in aid of Brain Tumour Research.
Brain cancer devastates families across the world but Rebecca and Melissa have been determined to do their bit to raise awareness and funds ever since their beloved sister Alexandra lost her own fight in 2011 aged just 24.
Rebecca said: “Our beautiful sister Ally was so brave and courageous and she gave a good fight.
“We miss her dearly. We want no other family to have to go through what we have been through and continue to go through to this
Their sister’s bravery as she fought against the odds inspired Rebecca, who lives in Knaresborough, and Melissa, who lives in Wetherby, to set up Alexandra’s Angels as an umbrella group for Brain Tumour Research.
At one point after months of gruelling treatment it seemed Alexandra, who lived in Knaresborough, had beaten her condition but this cruellest of diseases was to have the final word.
Rebecca said: “Ally was first diagnosed in October 2009 when she was 22 after having some facial weakness in the right hand side of her face.
“At first the doctors thought it was Bell’s Palsy, but after a couple of months, the facial weakness had worsened so we went back to the doctors and she was sent for a scan which showed that she had a tumour on her brain stem.
“She then had surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary in December 2009 where 30% of the tumour was removed.
“The biopsy was diagnosed as a malignant brain tumour, an astrocytoma
“Ally then underwent six weeks of radiotherapy and had chemotherapy treatment for nine months and in October 2010 an MRI scan showed the tumour had shrunk and only scar tissue
“The treatment seemed to have worked. “
After undergoing such major treatment, everything appeared to be progressing well for Alexandra until March 2011 when she started experiencing severe headaches of the like she had never experienced before.
Rebecca said: “An MRI scan showed Ally’s tumour had returned and now measured 7cm.
“The doctors said surgery was not an option as the tumour was on her brain stem and close to the nerves that control her breathing and heart rate, and advised Ally could go on to have more treatment if she wished.
“A specialist neurosurgeon agreed with consultants in Leeds but suggested Ally went ahead with high dose chemotherapy.
“Ally went on to have a few doses of the high dose chemotherapy which had some horrible side effects, lowered her immune system and made her vulnerable to
Despite everyone’s best efforts, Alexandra sadly passed away on August 19, 2011 at 3:40am in hospital.
“Rebecca said: “We continue to raise money in her memory.
“August 2 would have been Ally’s 30th brthday and we are devastated that she is not with us and we can’t celebrate this milestone with
“We felt that we would like to mark this occasion and also to raise money for Brain Tumour
All proceeds from Saturday night’s event will go to Brain Tumour Research.
Tickets include drink on arrival, hog roast and banquet and Club Entry to Viper Rooms.
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