Panhypopituatrism, Germ Cell Tumour
“Hi! My name is Amelie May, but every one calls me Millie. I have an older sister called Ellie, and a younger brother called Luca. My mummy is called Vanessa. She is English. My daddy is called Marco. He is Italian. So that makes me half English and half Italian! One day something happened to me that would change my life completely!
One morning as I was watching TV my eyes felt fuzzy. I went to see my daddy and he tested my eyes by holding his fingers up. But no. Everything was still fuzzy. He went to my mummy, and told her, then as soon as possible they booked me an appointment with a doctor in London.
When the doctor saw me, he couldn’t find anything wrong with me, but as soon as my daddy said I couldn’t see, he straight away wanted to do scan. After the scan we finally knew what was wrong with me: I had brain cancer.
I stayed in hospital, for seven month, having a lot of needles, and operations and medicines too. When I was well again, there were a few things I struggled with, and have ways of dealing with them.
One is when am around food. I am always hungry! Sometimes if I see something I would like, instead of eating it I clutch my hands together so that I can’t reach my hands out and grab it.
Another thing I struggle with is friendship because I prefer to be on my own. So this is what I do: I make an effort to join in to see if I like the games my friends play, or I bring something that I think someone else would like to do with me.
And that’s how I cope with being around food and being with my friends, and I hope it helps you too.”
Millie had just turned seven when she suddenly went blind overnight. Shortly after she was diagnosed with brain cancer (secreting germ cell tumour) and spent seven months, back in 2013, under the care of Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK. During that time, she underwent three brain operations, four months of aggressive chemotherapy as an inpatient, and then two months of Proton Beam Radiotherapy in the USA. She continues to be in complete remission, has regained much of her eyesight and continues to make progress on how to best cope with the many disabilities which arise as a result of cancer and its related treatments (including Hypothalamic Obesity, growth hormone deficiency and general panhypopituitarism).