Millie’s blog – experiences growing up with a parent diagnosed with a brain tumor


Nicola lives in Essex with her daughter Millie (14) and her husband Matt. Nicola was diagnosed with ganglioglioma in February 2017. After 7 years of symptoms, her tumor was finally discovered by a 4eneurologist. Every element of Nicola’s life as a single parent, student and employee in a company in London has been affected.

Nicola’s daughter Millie has known about it all since it started 10 years ago and bravely shared her experience of having a parent with a brain tumor. Eager to help others, Milllie shared tips and advice for other young people who may be going through a similar situation.

Hi! My name is Millie and my mom was previously diagnosed with a brain tumor.

I love to play and watch a lot of TV shows / movies! I also like going to the gym and playing for my football team as a midfielder.

My goal in writing this blog is to let people know that they are not alone and never give up, because there is always hope!

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I discovered that my mother had epilepsy; then later I found out that it was actually a brain tumor.

Once at school, when I was at my parents’ night with my mom and dad, I noticed she was having a seizure. It was not easy because few people knew what mom had at the time; which caused strange looks from various people. Dad and I knew what was going on, so we informed the teacher we were talking to, so as not to panic (as you could tell she was about to ask what’s wrong). Fortunately, she was very understanding and offered her support whenever I needed it. I’m pretty sure a few of my friends noticed something was going on as well – but they didn’t know it at the time either. It was quite frustrating because it’s never nice to feel several people chuckling behind your back. However, I learned to just block them – and eventually I told them what mom had anyway, and they were very supportive of me.

During the week of my mother’s major surgery, I was taking my grade 6 SAT – which, at the time, was the most important exams I have ever taken; because that would determine which sets I was in for the start of high school. I was so worried and stressed about everything with mom, so I was determined to do the right thing. It means I had to study hard. The most important thing to help me stay focused was to keep doing the same amount of what I would usually do with the things I love: playing, singing, playing soccer, etc. It got me through this because not only was I taking time out of my day to study, at the same time I was doing things that made me happy. For me, this has ensured me to get high marks on my SATs. It made me so proud of what I managed to overcome – and my mother’s sense of pride made it 1000 times better.

I ended up having a lot of support from friends, family, teachers, etc. Even though you may not have this kind of support, you are never alone and you can always talk to one of the people at this charity – because they will listen and understand what you are going through. By being determined and persevering, whatever the circumstances, you can stay strong and be the amazing person that you are! ❤️


The Children and Families team offers one-on-one online and telephone support and is always there to listen to you and help you find any information you may need.

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