Cramlington mum, 22, diagnosed with incurable brain tumour after trip to Specsavers
A 22-year-old mother who was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour after an optician appointment is facing a race against time to make memories with her daughter.
Reagan Kirkpatrick was diagnosed with a grade four diffuse midline glioma tumour after suffering severe headaches, which her GP originally put down to stress.
Ms Kirkpatrick, from Annitsford, North Tyneside, is now fundraising to take her two-year-old daughter Amara Bell to Disneyland Paris in 2023.
She said: "I am just taking each day as it comes but it is so hard."I don't go out that much because it is taking its toll on me now, and I can hardly go up the stairs. My balance is really bad and I need a wheelchair if I go to the shop."
The young mother said she went to see a GP in June 2022, complaining of weeks of severe headaches.
She was given tablets to help with stress but as time went on, the symptoms got worse and Ms Kirkpatrick was unable to go to work.
After blood tests failed to reveal the cause of the problem, she booked an appointment at Specsavers.
She said: "The optician did some tests and found that there was something behind my eye and gave me a letter, which she said I needed to take to the doctors straight away.
"The next day, I was still getting really bad headaches, so I went to Cramlington Hospital and that's when they did an MRI scan, and told me I had a tumour."Just days later, the former customer sales advisor had an operation at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary to relieve some of the pressure causing the headaches.
She has since had six weeks of radiotherapy at the Freeman Hospital and is now on her fourth round of chemotherapy.
Doctors have told Ms Kirkpatrick the tumour is shrinking but it remains incurable - with no way of knowing how long she has left to live."Doctors can't tell me how long I had the tumour before it was diagnosed or if it could have been prevented," Ms Kirkpatrick said.
In a message to others struggling to get a diagnosis, she added: "If you think something is wrong, definitely get a second opinion."
A former work colleague at Domestic and General has launched a fundraising campaign called Raise 4 Reagan to help pay for her final wishes.
Liam Vinson set up a Go Fund Me page which has so far raised more than £3,000.
Ms Kirkpatrick said: "I want to take my daughter to Flamingo Land and, hopefully, to Disneyland Paris.
"I am so thankful to Liam and my work colleagues who have set up the fundraiser."
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