A STUDENT whose dream of qualifying as an architect was dashed by a brain tumour diagnosis is fundraising to help others affected by the disease.

Ellie Cox, from Kidderminster, was initially diagnosed with the tumour five years ago after problems with her eyesight led to a brain scan.

Since then the 23-year-old has undergone 13 operations and suffered two strokes. She has had to learn to speak again, lives with tinnitus and still has no peripheral vision in her right eye.

She is now a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity, which funds research into brain tumours,providing support and information for those affected by the disease.

After her first brain tumour surgery at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital Birmingham, in 2014, she recovered enough to begin an architecture course at Liverpool John Moores University.

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But following a recurrence of the tumour and serious complications, Ellie had to change paths in her third year.

She is now hoping to return to education to take a course in ceramics, which she has begun learning with a potter based at Bewdley Museum.

Ellie said: “Life has taken a different turn and the whole world seems so different – but I do know that I can still do anything I want to.

“It may take a little longer, and I won’t do it all on my own, but if I want to, I can.”

Her symptoms of severe headaches began in 2013 when she was studying for her A levels at King Charles I School in Kidderminster.

Putting the problem down to exam stress, she spent the summer trekking in South East Asia and also visited New York as part of her art A level course, but later experienced visual problems.

“I couldn't see out of half of my right eye,” she said.

After she received her A level results, an MRI scan revealed a tumour deep in the centre of her brain.

Ellie has experienced years of scans and operations to remove the tumour, losing her ability to speak and write following procedures.

In January 2015, she received the devastating news that the tumour had regrown, along with a second one.

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After making a steady recovery and in September 2015, she began her architecture course in Liverpool.

But her health deteriorated again in 2017 and further surgery was followed by a new challenge when she began to experience seizures.

Brave Ellie travelled to Malta in the summer of 2017 and took up a work placement at an architectural practice under the EU Erasmus programme.

When she returned, she underwent multiple procedures which caused complications including two strokes.

On Saturday (October 12), Ellie will hold a fundraising walk for The Brain Tumour Charity along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal beginning at 12 noon by The Lock Inn, Wolverley Road.

Ellie said: “This walk will be a challenge for me, but I am determined to show that with hard work, I can reach my goals, inspire others on their rehab journey, and raise funds, so a cure can be found.”

People donate in support of Ellie via justgiving.com/fundraising/ellie-cox4