A grandmother who was diagnosed with a brain tumor wrote a book for her grandson in one night to pass on life lessons.
Jan Burrell, 62, knew something was wrong when she became forgetful in 2019.
She suffered a seizure in February 2021, which was initially thought to have been a stroke before a scan at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, UK, revealed a fist-sized meningioma.
Jan Burrell wrote a book in one night while waiting for surgery out of concern that her 11-month-old grandson, Finn, who is now two, wouldn’t grow up with the life lessons from his grandma. BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH/SWNS
Fearful her 11-month-old grandson, Finn, now two, would grow up without the life lessons from his grandma, she wrote a book in one night while waiting for surgery.
She had surgery to remove most of the tumor in May 2021 and went on to also illustrate the book, “Finn’s Wonderful World.”
Mrs. Burrell, from Stroud, UK, said: “The tumor was an uninvited guest – it arrived completely out of the blue.
“I am extremely grateful for what the surgeons did for me. Without their skill and the hospital staff, I wouldn’t be here.
“While I was waiting for my operation, it dawned on me that if I had a limited recovery, I may not be able to draw and paint again.”
Jan Burrell’s book, inside pages. Jan Burrell, 62, knew something was wrong when she became forgetful in 2019, so she wrote a book with illustrations for her grandson. BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH/SWNS
“This was upsetting to acknowledge as both things are a huge part of who I am.
“One night I couldn’t sleep and took hold of a pen and I wrote the book for Finn.
“I was slow as I wrote each letter, and it took me a long time, but I never crossed anything out; the story just flowed from my head to the paper.
“It was my way of passing a message directly to Finn, encouraging him to explore and appreciate the natural world around him.”
“Finn is two now. Being the age he is, it’s difficult to get him to sit down for a long amount of time, but he loves ‘Finn’s Wonderful World’.”
Jan is now monitored annually and is awaiting the results of her latest scan. She has written four other children’s books and is campaigning alongside the Brain Tumour Research charity to increase government funding for research.
The charity funds research at centers across the UK and is calling for £35 million ($44 million USD) to be spent every year on research.
Finn at the beach. BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH/SWNS
She said: “I am now on the sight impaired register, due to quadrantanopia, which means I have lost part of my vision in both eyes because of the surgery.
“But I am so lucky to still be able to do such things, and I’m happy to be alive.
“I count myself as being very lucky to have come out the other side, but I know that everyone’s story is different.
“We need to draw attention to brain tumors and raise money to carry on researching it to eventually find a cure.”
Mel Tiley, of Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re grateful to Jan for sharing her story.
“It’s wonderful to learn how she felt inspired to write a book after being given a life-changing diagnosis.
“Despite her side effects, Jan’s determination to raise awareness of brain tumors and to help find a cure for the disease is something she should be proud of.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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