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Nicole Dryburgh

My name is Nicole Dryburgh, I’m 19 years old and I live in Kent. I was first diagnosed with cancer when I was 11, and I had a brain haemorrhage when I was 13, due to an engorged blood vessel on my spine bursting and travelling to my head. The blood vessel was feeding off of another tumour, which we hadn’t known about at the time. I then spent 3 months in hospital, where I had a stroke which has left me disabled, and due to lack of oxygen to my brain, I’m now completely blind. I then underwent a years worth of chemotherapy and went into remission again, until I was 17, when I relapsed again. I then had a much tougher course of chemo which finished in February 2007, and I’ve been in remission ever since. Towards the end of my treatment, I started to notice a problem with my hearing, and an MRI scan later showed I have a tumour in each ear, which have now almost completely destroyed my hearing. I now communicate by using the deaf blind sign language which works by the person touching a different part of my hand for each letter of the alphabet, and spelling out what they want to say. And that is the very short version of my story!