A woman who battled a brain tumour for over ten years before returning to her love of running will take on a half marathon challenge after being told she was free of the disease.
Elly Pyne, from Thornbury in Bristol, was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in 2003, after visiting her doctors numerous times.
She had suffered constant headaches, followed by blurred vision and seizure-like black outs before a scan finally revealed that she had a mass.
Initially, medics feared that Elly’s brain tumour was aggressive and malignant and that treatment would be highly unlikely, but following a biopsy it was diagnosed as benign.
She was given an emergency shunt to drain the fluid that had been building up around her brain and then underwent a radiosurgery in 2007 to help shrink the tumour.
Two years ago, Elly finally got the all-clear to say that her brain was returning to normal and that she only has to return to hospital yearly for check-ups.
Before her diagnosis, she loved to run and nine months after her recovery, she decided to lace up her trainers again.
This year she will take on the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon when it returns to the city on Sunday 17 September.
Elly, 40, said: “I used to get a lot of headaches that increased over time and then I started to see discs in my vision, which was the build up of fluid in my brain.
“I then started to have episodes and went for a scan, which revealed I had a tumour on my brain.
“I started running prior to being diagnosed with my brain tumour and it was something that I really wanted to take up again and was something to focus on during my recovery.
“I was extremely lucky when I was diagnosed that my condition was not aggressive and after nine months recovery I was determined to get my trainers back on.
“I was affected in many ways both physically and mentally and when I go back to hospital and see how other people have been affected, it is unbelievable to see.”
Elly will join over 10,000 others for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon which features a scenic tour of the city.
The city centre run has become a long-held tradition in the sporting calendar, starting and finishing near to Bristol’s historic harbourside.
The sea-level route takes runners along the stunning Avon Gorge, passing under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge twice before returning to the city centre.
She hopes that her story will raise awareness about the symptoms of brain tumours so that others are able to receive a quick diagnosis.
Elly, who works in the sales industry, added: “If I didn’t receive the scan when I did, I probably wouldn’t be here now so it’s very important for people to get the right diagnosis and seek treatment quickly.
“Running has really helped me mentally with my recovery and taking up training again gave me something to focus my time and energy on.
“I was very lucky in both that my tumour was not malignant but also that the treatment was very effective.
“Although I am never officially ‘all-clear’ I am as close to that as I can be and I have managed to make a great recovery.
“By taking on the half marathon, it’s another personal goal for me to show how far I have come since my diagnosis.”