Woman diagnosed with brain tumours a month after wedding wins competition

Natalie Corrigan, 53, from Crawley, wearing her winning hat
Natalie Corrigan, 53, from Crawley, wearing her winning hat

A Crawley woman who was diagnosed with two brain tumours just a month after her dream wedding has won a national competition.

In May 2016, doctors had been treating Natalie Corrigan for neck and upper back pain when they decided to give her an MRI and discovered two benign brain tumours.

By November one of the tumours had expanded and had grown dangerously close to the 53-year-old’s optic nerve.

After having surgery to remove the growing tumour, Natalie was left struggling with comprehension, concentration, migraines, finding the right words and memory loss.

But Natalie says she couldn’t be more grateful for the support she has received from Headway East Sussex, a charity which helps survivors of brain injuries, at their day centre in Newick.

“I feel blessed to be here,” she said. “It’s perfect for me. I really feel the benefits of being surrounded by people I can relate to. There are times when I have cried with joy at being here.

“It’s great to be with people who understand me. It’s a place where I can talk and have my voice heard. I’m never rushed or ignored and I can just be myself.”

Natalie got involved with the charity’s national Hats for Headway Day competition, which challenges people to wear a wacky hat to raise money and awareness of brain injury, by creating a royal themed wedding hat, showing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, marrying in front of Windsor Castle.

She won herself afternoon tea for two at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

She said: “I’m over the moon to have won the competition. I was really excited about the royal wedding, and I wanted to create Windsor Castle because I’ve been there myself. I think they’re a lovely couple, I wore my hat while we watched the royal wedding.”

To find out more about Headway East Sussex call 01825 724323 or email info@headwayeastsussex.org.uk.