Secretary – Gordon Dickson
My name is Gordon Dickson, 61 years old but still think and act like I’m 40! I have a malignant brain tumour, called an Oligoastrocytoma which is borderline between a Grade 2 and 3.
I was on holiday in Spain in April 2013, when a friend heard me fall out of bed and witnessed me having an epileptic fit. I was taken to hospital where I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. On returning to NI I was referred to RVH and following the results of scans it was confirmed that I needed surgery to take a biopsy of the tumour.
The tumour could not be removed due to its location on my brain.
On 7th June 2013 I had wide awake brain surgery so I was able to watch it on the screen, amazing but scary at the same time. A few days after the operation I met with the amazing Mr Tom Flannery and he talked me through the results. I remember saying to him does this mean I have cancer as I didn’t associate a brain tumour with cancer. He told me that my tumour was what was called a slow burner so they would watch and wait, and I would have regular Scans.
On discharge from hospital I was given a pack about my operation, looking after the wound, MacMillan Cancer Support and a Brainwaves NI Leaflet. Shortly after returning home I rang Brainwaves NI and spoke to Kate Ferguson the then Secretary. She reassured me about the feelings I had and invited me to attend an upcoming event to meet other patients and members.
I went to this and she introduced me to other patients, many who I have remained friends with ever since. It’s like a big extended family that you always want to get together with and have a good old chat.
Which is why since becoming a committee member and now the Secretary of the Charity I want to help and support other members through this similar journey.