A woman with terminal brain cancer has told of her devastation after her fiancé dumped her just a week before their wedding.
Emily Nicholson, 24, from York, saw her weight soar by five dress sizes within six weeks after she began taking steroids as part of her treatment.
The aspiring model moved to Australia in 2012 where she worked as a bar manager and club promoter before being diagnosed with astrocytoma brain cancer in February 2016.
In spite of the disease, Emily and her then-boyfriend Jamie Smith, 24, had already began making plans to get married when she was given the devastating news in January 2017 that she had just a year left to live.
The once slender size 6 claims Jamie called off their engagement just one week before they were set to get married using Facebook Messenger – a claim he denies.
Emily, who gained 5 stone as a result of treatment for her tumour, initially planned to wed Jamie in August 2016 but the couple had to postpone their wedding until March 2017 because she needed surgery.
The pair also discussed freezing Emily’s eggs so she could one day have IVF if she recovered.
Speaking about the moment she received the message from New Zealander Jamie, saying he wanted to ‘call it a day’, Emily says: ‘Jamie messaged me and said he didn’t want to be with me and he hadn’t loved me for a long time.
‘It was horrendous. He made it very clear that he didn’t love me. I felt it was because of the way I looked and what had happened.
‘Now I don’t feel anything about him, he hurt me but there’s no point getting upset over it. I’ve just had to be strong about it all.’
‘He told me he didn’t love me anymore. For months he’d been going out with his friends but obviously I couldn’t do that.
‘We were looking to build our lives together in the time we had left.’
Emily and her family settled in Perth, Western Australia in the hopes of starting a new life in October 2012.
Emily’s mother Joanne Nicholson, 51, who became her full time carer recalled how a series of seizures led to the diagnosis of brain cancer Astrocytoma.
What is an astrocytoma?
Astrocytomas are the most common type of primary brain tumour within the group of brain tumours called gliomas, according to The Brain Tumour Charity. Primary means they have originated from the brain instead of spreading from elsewhere. About one third of all brain tumours diagnosed in the UK are astrocytomas.
They grow from a type of cell in the brain called an astrocyte, which is the most abundant cell in the brain. They support and protect the neurons (nerves) and help to pass messages between them. Astrocytes, therefore, are vital in processing information in the brain.
‘Emily was doing so well, she had her own house and a good job as a bar manager and she was also picking up work as a model and nightclub host.
‘She was vivacious, fun loving and a bit wild. She’s always been a ferociously hard worker.
‘She was blossoming, she loved life and now it’s all gone.
‘When she kept having seizures, we just thought it was stress because she was working so hard.
‘When we went into the doctor’s office and he told us our world just fell apart.
‘I look back and think how did we even get home? I remember breaking down crying, Emily looked at me and asked me to help, and there was nothing I could do.
‘I had no power and everything was taken out of our hands.’
Joanne was with Emily at the time Jamie ended the engagement.
She says: ‘Emily had the surgery and had a month to go till the wedding. We were sat with her when it happened, she just burst into tears.
‘He went on his stag do on the Saturday evening even though he’d called things off. I was angry at him, but as time has gone on I’m not angry at him anymore.
‘He was lovely, he was a really nice lad and it got to the point where she couldn’t go out and she was getting bigger.
‘When you go through something like this, life is too short to hate anyone – he did his best but I don’t blame him, it got too much for him
‘Emily’s illness has been hard but as a parent we needed to be here for her. There are some moments when I think that I’m the unluckiest person in the world.
‘People say to me I’m so strong but what’s the alternative? We have to keep fighting.’
Jamie, who works as a cable layer, has denied the allegations stating he broke up with Emily just before they were due to marry.
He says: ‘It was the other way around, she actually left me, I never left her. And, secondly, I never left her for anything to do with her weight gain.
‘If that was the case I would have left her months before we split up, because she started putting weight on before that. It had nothing to do with that at all.’
Emily’s family moved back to the UK in July 2017 after Emily was given her diagnosis and set up a GoFundMe page in the hopes of fundraising enough money for her to have access to the pioneering immunotherapy vaccine which will cost £30,000.
The former model has already defied the life expectancy estimated by doctors.
Emily and Joanne both claim Jamie’s suggestion she broke up with him is categorically untrue.
Back in 2012 I emigrated with my family, mum dad and brother to Perth Western Australia.
I had just turned 18 and life was amazing, I worked so hard to get where I was. My first home, driving licence and a great job, amazing friends and things were looking good.
Then in February 2016 only 3 months into my new independence my whole life changed. I had my first of 4 seizures, I lost everything, my home , driving licence and job as I couldn’t drive anymore.
I moved back home and had surgery in August, they found an Astrocytoma Grade 3 wild gene. Classed as high grade brain cancer, completely devastated.
I became very sick over Christmas and in January was told it was terminal and gave me 12-18 months. I took to Facebook to tell all my friends and family the devastating news. There response was amazing, straight away they started fundraising to get me back for a holiday and one last party and believe me they like a party. aduq online
Three weeks later we came back to York, home sweet home.
Our time back in York was so special, I didn’t want it to stop. As soon as we got back to Perth, I told mum and dad I didn’t want to die in Australia so they put the house up for sale. Even my amazing brother Matthew turned down a place at university so we could all be together, he is an awesome brother .
It’s been 18 months since we’ve been back. We lost everything, mum and dad were declared banckrupt because they couldn’t sell the house quick enough. Matthew was refused student funding to go to university as he has to be here for 3 years and has his own tumour scare, they are monitoring his.
We were given a council house from York City Council, which we can’t thank them enough as we were 2 weeks away from being homeless. Through all this I was having daily maintenance chemo, it made me really sick.
We got through all this because we love each other and won’t give up.
But my biggest battle has begun, the cancer has spread to apart of my brain that they can’t get too.
I spent most of Christmas in hospital trying to get strong for the fight ahead , I lost use of my left side and facial palsy.
My only hope now is to be well enough to get to Germany for immunotherapy vaccine, but it’s very expensive.
We will be selling everything we have to go towards the cost but need your help.
Brain cancer kills more children and young people under the age of forty than any other cancer .YET it receives less than 1 percent of funding.
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