A SCHOOLGIRL battling her way back to recovery after self-diagnosing her own brain tumour has taken her battle to make symptoms of the condition more widely known to Parliament.
Sixteen-year-old Lauren Pearson, from Yoxall, is still suffering from the effects of the tumour two years on as she struggles to walk and talk.
She made the journey to London with her older sister Jessica in a bid to promote the HeadSmart campaign, with the aim of making MPs sit up and take notice of Lauren’s plight and that of other sufferers who are left with nowhere to turn.
Despite having the tumour successfully removed in 2011, Lauren was hit with another devastating blow in the form of posterior-fossa syndrome, which occurs in around one in five tumour victims, leaving her unable to speak and almost completely immobile.
Lauren and her family now play an active role in promoting the HeadSmart campaign which is attempting to make the symptoms of brain tumours more widely known.
Lauren’s condition was missed by various medical experts and it was only after the Barton under Needwood schoolgirl carried out some research of her own on the internet that she became convinced she had a brain tumour.
Those behind the campaign are hoping to prevent anyone else from having to go through a similar ordeal to Lauren by highlighting the signs of brain tumours to stop cases being missed in the future.
With Lauren still fighting her way back to full fitness, it was left to sister Jessica to get the message across to MPs in Parliament.
What she said clearly had an impact with 31 MPs providing their backing by signing a pledge to the campaign, which included the family’s local MP Michael Fabricant.
With so many MPs offering their support it is clear the campaign, through stories like Lauren’s, is making a difference.
Jessica, 18, said: “I became one of the campaign’s community champions for my sister.
“She wanted to promote HeadSmart and so I am doing this for her.
“It is extremely important to my sister and I that we can use the experience we have both been through to help others in a similar situation.”