The Ruse family will raise funds as a thank you for the care given to their mum Gina by PA Hospital based neurosurgeon Dr Bruce Hall.
Gina was operated on by Dr Hall at Greenslopes Hospital on the 22 May after an MRI identified an endocrine tumour in her brain, with Dr Hall identifying two further tumours during surgery.
Gina’s daughter Jaimie who is raising funds for Dr Hall’s research into brain and spinal cancers through the PA Research Foundation’s Team PARF platform, said her mum’s journey to get well began with symptoms two years ago.
“Mum had been feeling nauseous , dizzy, lightheaded, and headachy for the last two years, she dropped a lot of weight from not eating so she had been getting tests and scans for everything,” she said.
“The last place she was sent was an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon who sent her for a head MRI scan. This is where they found the original tumour in her brain at the end of April.
“After the tumour was found, she was referred to Dr Hall who within three weeks of meeting mum was operating on her brain. While he was operating, he found two more smaller tumours in her brain too.”
Though Gina’s health battle continues, Jaimie said Dr Hall’s surgery to remove the tumour from her mum’s brain went exceptionally well with her mum impressing everyone with the speed of her recovery.
Jamie Ruse with her mum Gina in hospital
“Mum woke up after the surgery really well, to the point no one could believe how well she was. After one night on all the pain medication they took her off to trial her and she was fine,” she said.
“Since then, she has only had Panadol a handful of times, she spent a week in hospital and was told she could go home earlier but they wanted to keep her in for some more scans on the other tumours.
“The other two tumours they found were treated with a week of radiation therapy. They have learnt through all of it that her brain tumours were secondary tumours and after more scans and a new specialist they believe the original tumour is in her lungs so she started chemotherapy on 28 June and will also be being treated with immunotherapy.”
“Since the original surgery my mum feels like she is a whole new person. She is up early every morning walking our dog, cleaning the house and rearranging it constantly as she still isn't allowed to drive yet so she's going a little stir crazy,” she said.
“She gets headaches from time to time but says they are nothing like how she felt before the surgery. It is so great to finally after so long see my mum happy, smiling and feeling so good again.”
Jaimie said her decision to raise funds for Dr Hall through the PA Research Foundation came largely through Dr Hall himself.
“I've always wanted to do something to give back and then after everything happened with my mum I knew,” she said.
“Everyone involved in treating mum was so well educated and trained and I knew that this is how and why she is still with us now, as we did have the fear, she wouldn't be with us, none of this would have been possible without research.
“I started googling research foundations and the PA Research Foundation was the one that stuck with me the most. My mum had an appointment with Dr Bruce Hall, so I asked her to ask him his thoughts, he highly recommended the PA Research Foundation and even gave me the contacts to get in contact with them.”
With the goal of raising $3000 for research that will help more people like her mum Jaimie is busy organising a number of different fundraising initiatives which will culminate in a luncheon at the Morrison Hotel in Woolloongabba on 16 October.
“I’m trying to make as many of my fundraising ideas possible without going overboard. I'm going to be doing a raffle that I will be selling tickets for throughout the community, and I've also been lucky to receive some amazing donations which I’m grateful and will also be holding a silent auction through the coming months.”
You can help support Jaimie’s fundraising efforts by donating here.
Gina Ruse alongside her family