7:51am Tuesday 22nd November 2011

Joss Fleming, 22, from Barnes will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in June 2012 for charity, just a year after having a brain tumour removed.

Joss suffered from epilepsy and underwent 10 hours of surgery in June 2011 followed by a further 3 hours in July 2011, assisted by a brain tumour unit installed by funds from the National Brain Appeal*. She’s now decided to undertake a gruelling six day mission up Africa’s tallest mountain in aid of the charity.

The surgery seems to have been a success as Joss hasn’t had any seizures since the operation on her right temporal lobe to remove the tumour causing her epilepsy, which previously gave her a seizure a day.

Joss was admitted to the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) for 22 days and benefited from The National Brain Appeal’s work to improve the hospital’s services and equipment, and enable cutting-edge research (the brain tumour unit allowed her to have MRI scans during her surgery, ensuring that the whole tumour was removed).

Joss, a healthcare assistant at the Park Royal Centre for Mental Health, said: “This really is the challenge of a lifetime for me. I’ll be making the climb almost a year after my surgery and it’s this first-hand experience of the charity's vital work that will keep me going to the top.

“I hope my fundraising will go some way to thanking the NHNN for its fantastic support. The doctors and nurses really are incredibly talented and hard-working – they made my stay as quick, comfortable and stress-free as possible.

“I’m now enjoying a welcome break from the constant anxiety that comes with having epilepsy, a break that I hope is permanent.”

Joss is seeking sponsorship via her fundraising page and is donating every penny to her chosen charity: Mount Kilimanjaro is 5,895m high and is the world's largest freestanding mountain. It features challenging landscapes – from bushland to rocky moon-like alpine deserts – where temperatures vary from 27oC in the rain forest to minus 26 oC at the summit.

- ends - * The National Brain Appeal: Registered Charity Number 290173 ( The National Brain Appeal is the charity dedicated to raising much needed funds for The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London. The National is one of the world’s leading centres for the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with a wide range of neurological and neuromuscular conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and muscles, not just epilepsy. The long list includes brain and spinal injury and tumours, including cancerous tumours, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Prion disease and Alzheimer's and dementia. 1 in 6 people in the U.K. are affected by a neurological disorder.

Based on information supplied by Joss Fleming.


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