NHS worker Zara continues to fight strong a year after terminal cancer diagnosis

Blackpool NHS worker Zara Taylor is fighting a strong fight 12 months after she was told on 12 January last year that she has 18 months to live.

Zara was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – an aggressive brain tumor after an NHS worker suffered multiple seizures last year.

Typically, GBM has an average survival prognosis of 12 to 18 months. However, Zara is determined to be one of those who will live for six – or 10 – more years.

The 31-year-old was working at Blackpool Victoria Hospital until she was diagnosed and now has a work-from-home NHS admin role – report lance live

Zara Taylor after brain surgery

She said: “Since my diagnosis, I’ve had surgery, plus six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which I completed last October. Finishing it was a huge relief because the treatment literally knocked me out for six . I was feeling very sick and could not eat, was losing almost 20 kilos.”

“I know my prognosis is poor, but I have heard of some GBM patients who live six or 10 years, and I am determined to be one of them. I try to stop thinking that I know what can happen, but it can be very difficult, especially on big family occasions, especially birthdays.

“My husband Jordyn and I were married for just over a year after I had seizures that I was diagnosed with. We have two lovely Shar Pei dogs, Lola and Tia, whom I very much hope to survive. For now, I’m focused on making memories, although the pandemic isn’t helping our plans to travel.”

Since completing her treatment, Zara has founded Zara’s Appeal for a Cure, a fundraising group under the umbrella of the national charity Brain Tumor Research.

The money raised is used to help fund research to bring better outcomes for brain tumor patients and ultimately a cure.

Brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically only 1% of national spending on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Having already raised more than £4,000 by participating in Brain Tumor Research’s Jog 26 Miles in May Challenge last year, Zara has signed up to take part in the charity’s Walk 10,000 Steps in February Challenge.

Zara Taylor with her Shar Pei dogs, Lola and Tia
Zara Taylor with her Shar Pei dogs, Lola and Tia

She plans to accomplish this with her friend Adele Broadley who works in Costa at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Zara said: “I’m looking forward to working with Adele because I don’t see her so much anymore that I’m working from home. We will probably spend most of our time walking around Stanley Park and enjoy a good conversation. Sometimes I’ll walk with Lola and Tia. It will be a great way to stay fit and enjoy the fresh air with the events going on in the hospital.”

After a successful first challenge a year ago, which raised nearly £1 million to support critical research and the campaign, Brain Tumor Research is back in the 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge.

The charity is calling on people to step up to the Facebook challenge and make it even bigger and better in 2022. Participants will receive a free emoji T-shirt and fundraising pack when they make their first donation and a special medal if they raise £274 or more.

Matthew Price, community development manager for Brain Tumor Research, said: “The best part of the 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge is that you can fit your steps into your daily life. That could be drinking coffee and watching your local Hanging out with friends at the park, taking your commute to school instead of driving, getting off the bus a few stops earlier or walking around your house on the phone.You can also team up with friends or coworkers and complete your steps together can do!

“We are very grateful to Zara for her continued support and also to Adele for signing up to participate in 10,000 Steps a Day to fund important research to find a cure for brain tumors. Less than 12% of those with cancer survive more than five years, compared with an average of 50% in all cancers.”

Zara’s Appeal for a Cure will be holding a charity dinner event in April, though details have yet to be confirmed.

To sponsor Zara’s 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge and donate to Zara’s Appeal for a Cure, click Here,

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