Cancer mum has a fighting chance

A BRAVE Mexborough mum of two says she was told she only had months to live after doctors found five tumours in her brain just weeks after she had a breast removed.

But breast cancer victim Donna Howley travelled to London for a second opinion and was told the tumours in her head may not be cancerous.

Now following surgery to remove a tumour which was found to be benign, Donna, 41 is fighting on - and raising thousands of pounds for charity.

Donna is determined to get well and says she is a living example of why people in a similar plight should always seek a second opinion.

Celebrating her birthday with her family and best friend Maxine Grainger, on Tuesday, Donna told the Times: “I’m not out of the woods yet - not by a long shot.

“But I’m a lot better than I would have been had I accepted the original diagnosis”.

Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer last July. Doctors at Doncaster Royal Infirmary discovered a tumour after a body scans. After six months of chemotherapy they told her she would have to have her breast removed.

After the operation she complained of headaches. A brain scan revealed the tumours.

Her friend Theresa Tarmey put her in touch with a specialist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. “The professor there said not all of them looked cancerous. I was operated on at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital and had the biggest one removed which was pressing on my eye socket. They tested it and it was benign.

“That was great news. But now I have a big one at the back of my neck which will need another operation in a few months and three little ones which I’m hoping they can treat with Gamma Rays. I’m still having radiotherapy treatment on my breast at Weston Park Hospital. You should never give up hope.”

Donna and Maxine, of Bolton on Dearne, decided to raise money for the neurosurgery at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital and Mexborough Montagu’s Aurora Centre. They have raised more than £4,000 and a sponsored 10 mile run organised by Donna’s son Josh, 21 from Wetherspoon’s at Mexborough on Saturday, is expected to raise thousands more. Maxine Grainger said: “It is absolutely brilliant. Raising the money has given Donna something to focus on. To see her happy has made it all worthwhile”. Hundreds of local people moved by Donna’ courage have contributed to her fundraising.

Maxine, 38 and Donna have had to rearrange a charity evening organised for more than 200 people at Mexborough Majestic Suite on Saturday after the venue was closed without notice this week. The event, including a performance by stars in Our Eyes will instead be held at Goldthorpe Reform Club on the same night.