Brain Tumour Ireland online support group 'a haven of peace' says survivor Chantal

An online support group for people, like Chantal Villa, who have been affected by brain tumours is one of the good things to come out of Covid-19.
Brain Tumour Ireland online support group 'a haven of peace' says survivor Chantal

An online support group for people, like Chantal Villa, who have been affected by brain tumours is one of the good things to come out of Covid-19.

Public health restrictions have meant a move online for a lot of services provided by Brain Tumour Ireland.

But it has also meant that people unable to travel can meet each other using a web-based video conferencing tool.

“It is a haven of peace and relaxation for us in these trying times. We are all in our living rooms but we feel close to each other," says Chantal, pictured above.

The retired secondary school teacher, who lives in Cork, had a brain tumour successfully removed just over three years ago.

'I can't smell anything.  There are certain foods I cannot taste at all'

Chantal went to her GP after forgetting that she had put an apple tart in the oven.

After working on her computer for some time she went to the kitchen for a glass of water and noticed that it was very warm. There was smoke coming from the oven.

“I had forgotten about the apple tart for about an hour and a half and never smelt the burning food,” says Chantal, who had lived in Paris before moving to Cork in 1974.

Tests later revealed that a tumour was sitting on top of her brain, very close to the olfactory nerve and approaching the optical nerve.

“I was operated on at the end of May 2017 and the operation went well,” says Chantal who was told that the tumour could have caused her to go blind.

The operation removed the tumour completely and she did not need any radiotherapy but it destroyed her sense of smell and her taste is also affected.

"It is like watching television in black and white all the time.  I can't smell anything.  There are certain foods I cannot taste at all."

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