Woman told she had ‘low iron’ found out she had incurable brain tumour after seizures
A young woman was told she had “low iron” but is now desperately trying to fundraise for life-saving treatment after it turned out she had an incurable brain tumour.
Paige Gouge spent five years going back and forth with her GP, finding her concerns dismissed and being told she had low iron.
But in July 2021 last year, when she was 25, her world was turned upside down when she had the first of many seizures which she said “stopped her in her tracks”.
After suffering several more seizures the now 26-year-old from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, pushed to have an MRI scan which revealed the incurable brain tumour.
She’s now trying to raise £50,000 to afford a vaccine in Germany that she hopes will target and destroy the cancer.
Paige said: “For around four to five years I was back and forth to my GP surgery, I felt completely exhausted and they diagnosed me with low iron.
“I had multiple blood tests done and the only result that came back was showing my iron levels were low and nothing more.
“During that time I went back to my doctors and they upped the dosage but that didn’t improve anything.
“Then in July of last year I was out walking and I had what I now know was a seizure. It completely stopped me in my tracks, I couldn’t walk, talk or move.
“After the first one they happened much more frequently and I think I had around 15 seizures between July and October, and my doctors continued to say it was my iron levels.”
Then, one morning in October that year she felt another seizure coming, so her friend rushed her to A&E where she had a second.
She found herself waiting in the hospital for around “ten hours that day” to be seen and was just prescribed iron tablets which she said made “no difference”.
Paige continued: “I wasn’t happy with my diagnosis so I called my GP and he referred me to a neurologist in December who checked my reflexes and he said he didn’t think there was anything seriously wrong.
“I told him about my family history as my father died of a brain tumour and he referred me for an MRI scan which found a tumour.
“At this time they thought it was small and low grade so I wasn’t at risk and then in January I had a craniotomy where the bone is removed to access the brain.
“This revealed my tumour was grade two and grade four and from there I started radiotherapy which I did for six weeks.
“I’m now doing six months of chemotherapy which I have done four rounds of so far.”
She has also had brain surgery and IVF treatment to freeze her eggs.
But Paige is determined for a “second chance” at life and is hoping the treatment in Germany, which involves creating a personalised vaccine using a bit of the tumour, will help her immune system fight back.
Her fiancé Taylor Allen, 27, has set up a fundraising page where strangers have already donated £35,000.
Paige “The treatment is so important because it will teach my immune system how to fight the cancer which will save my life.
“I’m so overwhelmed by the donations. A very small fraction has been done by family and friends but mostly strangers!”