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Thousands raised through GoFundMe for Swanscombe mum following brain tumour diagnosis


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More than £1,500 has been raised to buy an electric wheelchair for a mum who was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Julie Barker, of Ames Road, Swanscombe, was taken to hospital last month after she lost the use of her left arm and leg and the left side of her face dropped.

Julie Barker, 50, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Picture: Tiegan Cuff
Julie Barker, 50, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Picture: Tiegan Cuff

Julie, who used to work as a cleaner in the Thamesgate Centre in Gravesend, spent five weeks in Darent Valley Hospital while doctors carried out various tests to discover the cause.

The 50-year-old thought she'd had a stroke.

But a CT scan revealed a shadow on her brain – and an MRI confirmed Julie had a brain tumour.

On April 12 the mum-of-four underwent a brain biopsy at King's College Hospital in London and was diagnosed with a glioblastoma grade four malignant brain tumour on April 21.

Julie's daughter, Tiegan Cuff, of Motte Lane in Ebbsfleet, said it felt like someone had "ripped her heart from her chest" after finding out the news of her mum's diagnosis.

From left, Julie's son Callum, Tiegan, Julie's daughter Mia, Julie, and her other son Liam. Picture: Tiegan Cuff
From left, Julie's son Callum, Tiegan, Julie's daughter Mia, Julie, and her other son Liam. Picture: Tiegan Cuff

She said: "I was angry, sad, shocked and confused all at once.

"I wasn't with her when she got the news, but downstairs with my kids while she took the call with her partner Michael and my brother Callum.

"Callum came downstairs and told me and I think I genuinely stopped breathing for a second.

"I asked if she was still on the phone, he said no and I ran faster than ever to get to her and just cried with her and gave her a massive hug.

"I just kept asking, and still keep asking, why? Why is this happening?"

Tiegan, left, said she was devastated when she heard the news. Picture: Tiegan Cuff
Tiegan, left, said she was devastated when she heard the news. Picture: Tiegan Cuff

Julie, grandmother to Freddie, Aria, Lennon and Harriet, has been supported by Macmillan Cancer Support.

She is waiting to hear when her chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Guy's and St Thomas Hospital will start.

As she struggles to walk, Tiegan launched a gofundme page to raise money for a specialist wheelchair to help her mum get around.

The 22-year-old said: "I started this fundraiser because she is still having trouble using the left side of her body.

"She can walk short distances with assistance but she cannot do much which is equally upsetting and frustrating for her.

More than £1,500 has been raised for an electric wheelchair for Julie. Picture: Tiegan Cuff
More than £1,500 has been raised for an electric wheelchair for Julie. Picture: Tiegan Cuff

"She hates having to rely on others, she is always wanting to do everything for everyone else. Even at a time like this, she's still thinking of everyone else. She is truly amazing.

"Getting this wheelchair would get her back to some kind of normality and independence which I think she needs right now."

Since the page was launched, Julie has been overwhelmed by people's generosity.

She said: "When I found out about it all I was very shocked and scared but I have the most unbelievable support network so I can get through anything.

"I am overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and support. I would like to hug and kiss them all."

To make a donation, visit their GoFundMe page.

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Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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