A schoolboy found out he had an inoperable brain tumour during a chance trip to the opticians.
Jacob Coldman joined his younger brother at the last minute for a routine eye test and was told his results were unusual.
The 15-year-old, from Winkleigh in Devon, had a loss of peripheral vision in his left eye and he was eventually referred to the hospital for further testing.
Months after the initial diagnosis Jacob was taken to A&E at North Devon Hospital and a subsequent MRI scan revealed a mass on his brain.
Jacob underwent two operations, which saw him spend a combined 13 hours in surgery.
However, the tumour was deemed inoperable due to fear removing the mass could leave him blind.
Instead, he spent 18 months having chemotherapy and has been left with a port the size of a 10-pence piece in his skull to help drain any build-up of pressure.
Mum Elaine, 48, said: “He had to have platelet transfusions as well as blood and fluid transfusions because the chemo was so toxic – this became a regular practice with each round he had.
“Although his last scan came back stable, you always live with ‘scanxiety’ between each appointment.”
Jacob’s trip to the opticians was in 2018 and he is now in Year 10, preparing for his mock GCSEs.
On top of his schoolwork, he has to go for six-monthly scans and quarterly eye tests, as well as endocrine appointments at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to monitor his tumour.
The mass has left him with visual impairment and endocrine deficiencies.
He is likely to need growth hormones until his mid-twenties – and potentially for the rest of his life.
Elaine has taken on the Brain Tumour Research ‘Jog 26.2 Miles in May Challenge’ to help raise money for further research into the condition.
Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Jacob’s story is a stark reminder of how indiscriminate brain tumours are, affecting anyone at any age.
“They 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 determined to change this and are so grateful for the support of people like Elaine whose fundraising efforts enable us to continue funding vital research and to, ultimately, find a cure.”
If you would like to donate – or receive more information – on Elaine’s fundraiser click here.