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Breana takes on Bridge to Brisbane

Thursday 05 August 2021

When Breana Allan walks the Bridge to Brisbane 4.5km circuit on 7 November she will do so in the hope that the funds she raises will help ensure her daughters never have to face the same scary diagnosis she did earlier this year.

Working at a computer every day, Breana started getting headaches she believed were caused by straining her eyes, only to learn in late January the cause of her headaches was something more sinister.

Breana alongside her two daughters Rosie and Mayson

"I thought it was time for me to get glasses because I was getting headaches, especially at the end of a long day looking at a computer screen. They would come and go though so I just didn't do much about it for a couple weeks, but they just got too intense," Breana said.

"Another side effect I had was my hearing would go a bit funny, it would sound like I was in a tunnel, it would sort of echo, and I knew everybody else wasn't hearing it the way I was even though it would only last about 30 seconds.

"I went to the optometrist and said I think I need glasses; I'm getting these really strong headaches and I think it's from straining my eyes, and he picked it up, he said both of your optical nerves are swollen that is to do with a brain issue not an eye issue, so you need to go as soon as possible to get a CT scan.

"That's how it all started, the CT scan turned into an MRI and that turned into me seeing on the screen the tumour on the front left side of my brain which was a bit of shock."

With all of her diagnostics tests undertaken at the PA Hospital, Breana would also undergo two surgeries to remove the tumour, and clear an infection, the first at Mater and the second at the PA, with both surgeries performed by PA Hospital based neurosurgeon Dr Ananthababu Sadasivan.

"I was one of the very lucky ones because it turned out to be a benign Meningioma, so it was a benign tumour on the brain lining, apparently fairly common in women and there's no real reason for it that we know of," she said.

"As far as I know they just come up and they are common, so I just wanted to raise some money to keep that research going to find out why, because I don't want my two daughters to ever go through it when they're older. It's scary so we need to more research done into why it happens."

Breanna with her family

Breana said as a healthy mum to three-year-old Rosie and five-year-old Mayson her diagnosis came as a shock not just to herself and her husband Blane but to all of her loved ones and friends, who have all been quick to get bend her Bridge to Brisbane efforts.

"It definitely was a bit of a shock to a lot of people and especially to a lot of my girlfriends who are around the same age as me and who've got little kids, it was a bit of a wakeup call that all this extremely scary stuff can happen to you even in your forties," she said.

"We all think that we're still young and you don't have to worry until you're much older but that's not the case. They can pop up unexpectedly and it makes you evaluate your life which is a good side effect."

Breana said during her testing, and two multiple night stays at the PA for surgery, the care she received from Dr Sadasivan and all of the staff was first class.

"Everybody was fantastic, I had a great experience as a patient at the PA, I can't really fault anybody at all, everybody was doing their best, especially while I was there that covid outbreak happened, so they were a bit stretched but they handled it really well," she said.

Heading into the event which will see Breana and Blane tow their daughters along the course in a cart to make it a true family event, Breanna has already raised an amazing $3000 which she credited to the support of family and friends.

"My family and my immediate friends and my extended family have all helped which has just been wonderful and I can't thank them enough," she said.

"My aunt and Uncle did some fundraising alongside the residents at their retirement home Parque Vista in Holland Park, they raised funds by having a sausage sizzle and also a raffle, people baked goods and brought along things to raffle off which was just amazing of them and I'm very appreciative of."

Following the Bridge to Brisbane Breana hopes to have her final surgery in September which will put a titanium plate in her skull and see her battle with a brain tumour completed, all thanks to the PA Hospital.

You can support Breana's efforts here.