MUM-TO-BE Emma Doyle is looking forward to welcoming her first baby into the world.
But unlike most mothers, the 26-year-old does not know how long she will be around to see her child grow up. At the age of 20 the former care assistant was given a devastating blow when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Drugs are keeping the growth in check but Emma has no idea how long it will be before it claims her life.
Now she and husband Justin live for every moment – and they are looking forward to their first baby, which is due in May.
Today Emma, of Merrivale Road, Hilsea, spoke of her pregnancy joy – and called for more funding for brain tumour research to help patients like her.
‘I’m excited about having a baby, but I do worry about whether I will see it grow up,’ she said.
‘I’m in touch with women that have brain tumours and have had children – one lady is having her second child.
‘I try to stay positive about my pregnancy, and this gives me hope, but I don’t think there’s enough awareness on the condition at all.’
Doctors had advised Emma that she should not try for a baby while on medication for her tumour, and the couple say the pregnancy came as a surprise.
They have been told that she will have normal pregnancy.
Emma had first noticed problems when she suffered from bad headaches.
‘I thought it might have something to so with the bad flu I had the month before,’ she said.
‘But then I started falling down at home and where I worked as a care assistant, which wasn’t right.
‘Both my parents have multiple sclerosis and so I had an MRI scan at Queen Alexandra Hospital to see if it was that.
‘By then I wasn’t able to walk in a straight line and it felt like my body wasn’t my own.
‘My legs would feel all numb and tingly.’
After several scans a tumour measuring 5.6cm by 3cm was found at the stem of her brain.
‘It was such a shock when I was told – I really wasn’t expecting it,’ added Emma.
‘My first thoughts had been along the lines of “why me?” and sometimes I can feel really down about it.
‘It’s frustrating as there’s not a lot that can be done about it, other than having pain relief.’