Pippa Belle Cole

In the summer of 2013, when Pippa was just 18 months old, her parents noticed that she lost her balance quite a lot and assumed it was because she had started to walk.
Pippa then started to be sick. At first, it was assumed that she had a virus and would be well again after a few days, but this didn’t happen. In July, she had a very severe bout of sickness which resulted in her parents taking her to A&E. Pippa was unable to eat and her parents knew something was very wrong.

A scan revealed a tumour.

Pippa had a 10 hour operation at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where surgeons managed to remove 98% of the tumour. At first, the tumour was thought to be benign but further tests showed that Pippa had a grade 3 ependymoma.

Pippa underwent 13 months of chemotherapy and was given the all-clear in August of 2014.

Sadly, just three months later after a routine MRI, her parents received the news that Pippa’s cancer had returned.

For the next two years, Pippa underwent four more brain surgeries and lots of radiotherapy treatment—at one point she stunned doctors by having a clear MRI.

Sadly, the cancer returned and Pippa passed away on February 27th 2017, surrounded by her family.

Pippa was loved by everyone who had the good fortune to meet her (and she knew it!) She was a very special little girl.

Ependymomas develop in all age groups but are more common in children than adults. Ependymomas may differ depending on an individual’s age. In children, the tumour is most commonly located in the brain. In adults, this type of cancer is more likely to be seen along the spine. Infants with ependymoma may be irritable and have difficulty sleeping, and a child’s head may grow irregularly. Children may also develop slower than expected, either physically or mentally. Age can also affect treatment methods. Younger children may not be able to undergo certain forms of cancer treatment.

Symptoms of ependymoma can vary from case to case. Many people experience noticeable symptoms along with the tumour, but some show little or no symptoms that can be identified.

Symptoms of ependymoma may include neck pain, headaches, blurred vision, vison loss, nausea or vomiting, jerky eye movements, difficulty with balance or walking, seizures, tingling or numbness in the limbs.

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