‘My life was normal, then my fingers went numb – now I’ve got two years to live’

A mother of one child said she began to experience numbness in her fingers and could not believe that this was due to an incurable tumor growing in her brain.

Image of Claire Shipp with her partner Julian
Claire only got two years to live

After she started experiencing numbness in her fingers in October, Claire Shipp was initially told she had Carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in which the nerves in a person’s hands become trapped.

By Christmas, however, the 43-year-old mother became more worried after the numbness spread to her arms and face. She then suffered two seizures in late December and early January.

After her admission, abnormalities were found on her CT scan, doctors realized the situation was dire and that’s when Claire received some devastating news.

She was told she had a fast-growing, incurable brain tumor above her right ear and her only chance to live longer was to raise money and travel abroad for treatment. .

Claire, who has just two years to live, now needs to raise £100,000 to undergo private immunotherapy, which she is not available through. NHSbut available in Germany or USA.

Claire was initially told she had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Triangle News)

Claire called 999 after experiencing her second seizure in early January


Triangle News)

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Claire, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, said: “Back in October last year I started getting some hilarious sensations in my hands; one of my fingers is numb. It felt a bit like a weird electric shock and I went to the doctor and they said they thought it was like Carpal Tunnel.

“My life is completely normal apart from my hand doing weird things. It’s the middle finger on my left hand.

“The numbness has started to spread but again it can happen with Carpal Tunnel, then I get tingling on the left side of my face, but it’s just a regular occurrence. You won’t never thought about Brain Tumor“.

Her first seizure occurred on Gift Day, with the second occurring on January 3, prompting her to call 999. As Covid regulations were in place at the time, she had to to Luton and Dunstable University Hospital without her husband Julian. , and it was here that she had a CT scan.

Claire awake during her surgery


Triangle News)

“I was sitting there thinking ‘I’m sure it’s nothing, but an hour later they came to arrest me and put me in a room. The alarm went off and she said ‘I’m really sorry,’ but we’ve found something in your brain, but since it’s just a CT scan we can’t tell what it is.

“I had to sit in the hallway for four hours after that because they didn’t have a bed for me because I needed an MRI. I sat there and cried – it was horrible, one of the worst nights of my life. Then they told me they found a tumor and it could have been malignant,” she recalls.

Claire was then referred to the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, where specialist doctors confirmed the diagnosis of grade 4 astrocytoma, a cancer that also develops in the brain. can affect a person’s spine.

She was told that brain surgery should be done as soon as possible and she will be awake during the procedure.

Before going into surgery on January 18, Claire wrote a lengthy letter to her 9-year-old son, in case she didn’t make it through the six-hour surgery.

During the lengthy procedure, doctors tested Claire’s response to make sure that, by removing the tumours, they wouldn’t inadvertently damage healthy parts of her brain.

Claire said: “Somehow, I was trying to stay calm, I just thought ‘I have to do this’. I wrote a letter to my son just in case something happened because I would most likely bleed a lot and that’s it. My brain has been mapped and there are ten people in the room. They are all judging as they go along. The worst part was when they cut my skull.

“I can hear the vibrations and hear the sounds. It’s knowing what they’re doing. When they do it, in my mind, I’m screaming. I’m picturing my family and my son. “.

A week after the tumor was analyzed, doctors told Claire it was incurable. Although they managed to move most of it, they knew it would grow back soon.

Claire, who has changed her diet and lifestyle, has pinned all her hopes on immunotherapy, a treatment not currently offered by the NHS. Her sister organized a fundraiser, with the aim of raising £100,000 to take her to Germany or the US for treatment.

In addition, Claire is also raising funds through Facebook and GoFundMe, and have raised £10,000 to date.

She added: “The hardest part of all of this is that I have a funny, bright, caring nine-year-old son who is the boy of mummies and the light of my life and the light of day. It breaks my heart that I won’t be there to see my child grow up, to be there for him as he navigates the ups and downs of life. Because of him, I was determined to fight with all my might. I don’t have luxury time.

“The fundraising is ambitious, but it gives me something positive to cling to and focus my attention on. I want to be one of those people who somehow overcome the situation. and take charge of my life – I’m doing whatever I can to help myself.”

To donate to Claire’s cause, you can visit her Gofundme page or she Facebook page where you can learn more

Do you have a health-related story to share? We pay for stories. Email us at julia.banim@reachplc.com

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/my-life-normal-finger-went-26367096 'My life was normal, then my fingers went numb - now I've got two years to live'

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