A YOUNG woman living with an inoperable cyst on her brain has spoken out to raise awareness of the condition.
Cassie Taiani, who lives in Stanford-le-Hope, was diagnosed with an Arachnoid Cyst – a growth in her brain – aged just 15.
Now 22, she has been told doctors cannot carry out any more operations, leaving her struggling with the side effects which can leave her paralysed for months at a time and in constant pain.
Cassie started getting headaches when she was 15 and it was initially thought they were hormonal and would go away in time.
However, after falling ill, her nan called Basildon Hospital and it was then they discovered a brain scan, taken nine months before, showed a growth.
She said: “I got really bad headaches and I didn’t want to get up and go to school.
“I’d never been in hospital before – I had a huge phobia of them. It was really scary, really daunting.”
The doctors found a cyst, the size of an orange, on her brain.
Cassie had to put her career plans to become a teacher on hold and endured several major operations, which left her hospitalised with terrifying side effects.
She said: “After my first operation I came round and I was paralysed down my left side.
“You don’t know if it is going to come back or not. It was eight months until I got all my movement back.
“My neurosurgeon said there is nothing more they can do. “I am being tested to see what medicine works, what pain relief works.
“ I’ve just got to wait and see what else they can come up with.”
Cassie is now trying to raise money for the National Brain Appeal – a charity that funds research into neurosurgery.
A charity disco will be held at the George and the Dragon pub, in East Tilbury, from 7pm on Saturday, March 23. Entrance is £5 and proceeds will be split between the appeal and Cancer Research.
Cassie added: “It is so difficult, I don’t know what I would be like if I didn’t have my family and my boyfriend Ian.
“It is nice when you go to hospital and there are people with the same problems, they have the same life problems.
“The money raised goes towards research for scanners and ward equipment.”