Belfast Telegraph

Marathon aim for Northern Ireland brain op actress

By Mark Bain

A Northern Ireland actress who has raised more than £100,000 for charity following life-saving brain surgery is to run the London Marathon.

Cliodhna McCorley was diagnosed with a large brain tumour after suffering seizures and attacks of pain three years ago.

After undergoing surgery, the 27-year-old is raising funds for the National Brain Appeal, the charity which supports the hospital which saved her life, by running next Sunday's marathon.

Cliodhna, a London-based actress and National Youth Theatre development officer, has spent the last three years raising funds for the charity after battling back from serious illness.

"I was a fit and healthy 24-year-old in 2015," she said.

"The day after a family trip back to Northern Ireland I started to experience sharp pains in my jaw that felt like electric shocks. At first I thought it was my wisdom teeth, but my dentist advised me to go to my GP."

Cliodhna's doctor was concerned and referred her to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London as he thought she might have trigeminal neuralgia - a chronic pain disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve.

She decided to go ahead with a plan to fly to Glasgow that evening but on the way she had more seizures and attacks of pain.

She went to hospital where the neurologist broke the news that Cliodhna had a large brain tumour.

Medication to control the seizures and numb the pain followed, then the life-saving surgery.

The operation took place in June 2015 and she spent the next three weeks in hospital, relearning how to stand up and walk.

It was five months before Cliodhna was able to return to work.

She threw herself into fundraising for the National Brain Appeal and has been training for the London Marathon.

"Now I feel my focus is on helping others facing brain cancer," she added.

To support the appeal go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cliodhna-marathon

Belfast Telegraph

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