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Teen’s Growing Pains Turn Out To Be Rare Brain Tumor

Honey is on the mend and has since returned to school.

A schoolgirl was shocked to discover her growing pains were actually a – brain tumor.


Honey Ibbitson, now 15, was aged just six when she started feeling discomfort in her legs. Mom Julie, 36, took her for medical tests – where the issue was ruled as growing pains, she says. Unsatisfied, Julie says mother’s instinct made her push for further investigation.


And, aged 10, Honey was told she didn’t have growing pains – she actually had a rare brain tumor. Honey, from Birmingham, was then stable for five years before she was told the tumor had grown. She has an operation to remove the growth in November last year and now back in school – and ready to tackle her mock GCSEs.


“From the age of six, [Honey] had four years of tests. But the doctors couldn’t see anything wrong other than growing pains, which they said were completely normal for her age,” said Julie, a hairdresser.


“It got to the point where Honey was limping because to walk was too painful at times. My mother’s instinct was telling me there was more to it. I pushed for a referral to the hospital, but never expected to be told that Honey had something growing in her brain,” she added.


Honey was eventually diagnosed with a cerebellopontine angle epidermoid cyst. She had successful surgery to remove the tumor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and she returned to school this month.


“To look at her, you wouldn’t know everything Honey has been through. We feel fortunate that she can return to school and lead the life you’d expect a 15-year-old should. She is keen to get back to school for her mocks, especially drama which is her favorite subject,” said Julie.


“Doctors told us that Honey probably had the tumor when she was in the womb which is terrifying to think about. Had her tumor not been found when it was, Honey could have been left with irreversible conditions and our story may have been very different,” she added.


Next month, Julie is putting her best foot forward by taking part in 10,000 Steps a Day in February for the charity Brain Tumour Research.


“The work of Brain Tumour Research is vital if we are to understand the complexity of brain tumors and eventually find a cure. It’s heartbreaking that brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. I’m determined to be part of the solution,” said Julie.


“Honey’s story is a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumors. We’re incredibly grateful to Julie and Honey for sharing their story. We wish Honey the best of luck in her mock GCSEs and hope that Julie’s event is a stomping success,” said Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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