Norfolk woman diagnosed with incurable brain tumour while pregnant with twins given all-clear

Kylie Weatherby with her twins Luca and Malena.
Copyright: Family photo/Brain tumour research
Kylie Weatherby her twins Luca and Malena. Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A mum who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour while pregnant with twins has been told she is now clear of the disease.

Kylie Weatherby from Norfolk was 36 weeks pregnant when she woke up feeling unwell last May - mistaking her sickness for pre-eclampsia, which her own mother had suffered from during two of her pregnancies.

But a scan revealed that the 32-year-old had a brain tumour, which doctors told her would be terminal.

She was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive and fast-growing form of brain cancer.

The doctors allowed Ms Weatherby to continue with her pregnancy until she delivered her babies, Luca and Malena, at 37 weeks by caesarean section on 28 May.

Ten days later she was taken to hospital by ambulance after complaining of severe head pain and rushed into surgery after it became apparent her brain had become so swollen that it was squashing the tumour and causing it to bleed. 

Severe swelling meant it was not immediately possible to rebuild her skull so Ms Weatherby was sent home wearing a helmet to protect her exposed brain until the operation could be completed on 1 July.

Ms Weatherby – who moved to Birmingham, Alabama, in 2012 after marrying an American serviceman she met while working as a housekeeper at RAF Lakenheath – went on to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy and on 18 October was told her cancer cells were no longer detectable and she showed no evidence of disease.

Now her mother Barbara Hollands is preparing to take part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge.

Ms Hollands, from Thetford in Norfolk, who works as a nursing assistant at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “They were honest and straight with her and said they didn’t know how long she had but they did get everything out that they could see [in the operation].

"But obviously these tumours have tentacles you can’t see which is the worry.

"Quite honestly, you wouldn’t look at her and think she’s as poorly as she is, except when she gets tired - but she’s got seven-month-old twins. She’s had no seizures since her operation and has got such positivity.

Kylie and her mum Barbara

"I don’t know where she gets her strength from because I’m a wreck but I’m looking forward to her coming home permanently. I wish it could be sooner but in four months’ time they should be here and I think nanny’s going to be a bit emotional.”

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: We’re really pleased to hear about Kylie’s latest results and welcome the support of her mum, Barbara, in helping us to raise the funds needed to research better treatment options and outcomes for brain tumour patients and, ultimately, find a cure.

“The statistics speak for themselves; brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. We’re working to change that.”