Sunday 17 February 2019

YouTuber Simone Giertz sent her brain tumour to Antarctica

The social media star known for her strange inventions said a pic of the growth in front of a glacier is now her ‘favourite photo of all time’.

The slice of tumour ended up in Antarctica through an ‘awkward favour’ (Esmee van Wijk/PA)
The slice of tumour ended up in Antarctica through an ‘awkward favour’ (Esmee van Wijk/PA)

By Alastair Reid, Press Association

YouTuber Simone Giertz, known for building bizarre robots, has sent a sample of her brain tumour to Antarctica nearly a year after being diagnosed.

The inventor and social media star shared a picture showing the pink-dyed tumour placed in front of a glacier, courtesy of Nasa advisor and Antarctic explorer Ariel Waldman.

“I sent my brain tumor to Antarctica and this is now my favorite photo of all time,” she wrote.

Ms Waldman carried out the “awkward favour” while travelling to Antarctica to research tardigrades, tiny animals also known as water bears or moss piglets which are capable of surviving in extreme environments.

Erica Moyes, research manager at The Brain Tumour Charity, said pathologists often take a small slice of a tumour and put it on a microscope slide to diagnose it properly, but it was “not usual” for a patient to take a slide home.

“It’s probably a very thin slice of brain tumour that has been stained so that you can see the cells,” she said.

She added it was fantastic Simone Giertz was raising awareness in this way as people can sometimes misdiagnose the symptoms of brain tumours and don’t seek treatment soon enough.

Miss Giertz announced she had a brain tumour in May 2018 and it was surgically removed later in the month.

However, in a video from January 18, she revealed that “Brian the Brain Tumour” had returned and she is seeking radiation therapy to stop it growing.

While her tumour is not cancerous, that does not make it any less serious, said Erica Moyes.

“Low-grade tumours grow slower but they’re in your brain and can potentially have a massive impact,” she said.

Over 11,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year, according to The Brain Tumour Charity, including 500 children and young people.

Press Association

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