Whitley Bay mum to take part in abseil after tumour diagnosis

A mum-of-three will be taking a leap of faith for charity.

By David Sedgwick
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 10:18
Paula Shaftoe and her family.

Paula Shaftoe is taking part in her first abseil this weekend to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research after being diagnosed with one herself.

The 34-year-old, from Whitley Bay, will be descending 131ft from the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts on Saturday.

Paula began suffering from headaches in October last year, which became increasingly frequent and severe.

One Saturday night in January Paula’s husband called for an ambulance as one side of her face appeared to ‘drop’ and she struggled to communicate clearly.

After her GP sent her for scans, the results revealed a ‘mass’ showing on her brain and Paula was sent for an emergency MRI scan, which confirmed she had a low-grade meningioma, but due to the position of the tumour, her treatment options are limited.

Paula said: “Although the tumour is slow-growing, because it is pressing against my brain stem and has a vertebral artery going through it, operating would be very complicated and high-risk.

“I’ve decided against surgery for the time being and am focusing on staying positive and spending time with my friends and family. I want to enjoy my life and live it to the full.”

She added “If you have severe and persistent headaches, like I did, don’t wait to see a doctor. I was lucky that my GP didn’t hesitate in sending me for a scan.

“Although treatment isn’t a viable option for me at the moment, I know I will have to have surgery at some point. Without it I will eventually lose all feeling in my arms and legs.”

She will be supported on the day by friends and family, including her three children, aged three, eight and 14.

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paulashaftoe