Monday, 26 July 2010

Gemma’s story

Gem's little Gems is a newly formed small charity. The charity was developed by a group of Gemma Mullowney's friends who wanted to share her story and help others who may be in similar circumstances.

Gemma is a 31 year old children's nurse. Gemma's nursing career has been dedicated to her working with children and teenagers with cancer and she is currently a research nurse in this area particuarly involved in brain tumour and leukaemia research.

In 2006 Gemma became unwell with a swollen eye, severe headache and neck pain and then critically ill with meningitis. Following a full day in surgery, Gemma needed to have part of her forehead and eyesocket removed due to the infection. The results came back unexpectedly to show the infection was aspergillus. Initially Gemma was treated with anti-fungals and was well enough to have reconstructive surgery a year later prior to her wedding in August 2008. reconstruction was particularly important for Gemma as like any other young bride, she wanted to look her best for her wedding day.

Unfortunately the aspergillus returned at the end of 2009 in a different part of her skull requiring further surgery during which the reconstruction work was removed along with more infected bone. Gemma was then started on different anti-fungal drugs to treat the aspergillus but with this came side effects that meant, very importantly for Gemma she wasn't allowed to try for the baby she had always wanted.

In February 2010 just as Gemma was about to return to work she was told the devastating news she had breast cancer. Since then she has had surgery and is currently undergoing chemotherapy making the anti-fungal treatment more complicated.

Gem's Little Gems would really like to support Gemma in raising money for research into aspergillus, helping to save lives and improve treatments in the future.

'It's a Knockout' Fundraising Event for the Fungal Research Trust