Internet Helps Mom Diagnose Daughter’s Brain Tumor

When Carly Hornbuckle noticed that her elder daughter, 4 year old Bella was loosing weight and frequently complaining of morning sickness, she could sense that something was wrong. She consulted a GP and was told that the symptoms were probably due to the birth of her younger daughter, Imogen. But Carly’s motherly instincts told her, there was something more and that is when she used the internet to find that her daughter was in fact suffering from brain tumor.

Bella’s case was a condition called Medulloblastoma that affects children between three and eight, but is rare affecting only 80 children nationwide each year. The awareness about the condition is low and even doctors may not come across such a case in their whole career.

Carly, 25 searched for diseases related to Bella’s symptoms online, and the search narrowed down to brain tumor. She then revisited the doctor and requested for test, which confirmed the tumor. Bella was then operated by surgeons at the Queens Medical Centre who removed the cancer in an 8 hour operation and is now undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

“I knew there was something seriously wrong, you know your own children. I thought the GP’s suggestion, that Bella was unsettled by the birth of Imogen, was possible, but I wasn’t convinced. I knew it was something more and began searching the internet for answers. Her symptoms just seemed to fit.” said Carly.

She also added that although the surgery was a success, Bella will have a stunted growth due to radiotherapy and it could also lead to some level of learning difficult, hearing loss and kidney damage.

Carly and her partner Jordan Flint have now set up a charity, Tinkerbella’s Wishes for Bella’s future care and also to fund medical research and increase awareness about childhood cancer. Atula, Staff Writer

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About the author


Atula is a writer, traveler and a nature-lover. She is also mom to a boy who seems to have inherited all her creative genes. When Atula is not busy making up stories with her son, she writes for numerous magazines, websites and blogs. She is also working on her site on endangered species called indiasendangered.com.

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