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Woman battled brain tumour while pregnant – after her dad died of the same cancer

A woman fell pregnant with a “miracle baby” while battling a brain tumour – after her dad died of the same cancer.

Paige Gouge, 27, was diagnosed with diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) – an aggressive brain tumour – aged 25.

Her dad, Mark Gouge, had passed away at age 37 from the same cancer in June 2000.

Paige underwent a debulking surgery – as well as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and privately-funded immunotherapy treatment in Germany – throughout 2022 and 2023.

To Paige’s surprise, she fell pregnant naturally last year – something doctors had said was unlikely to happen.

Taylor Allen and Paige Gouge with their son Alfred. Credit: SWNS

The HR manager and her fiancé, Taylor Allen, welcomed their healthy baby boy, Alfred, into the world on April 1, 2024.

Paige, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, is hoping to restart her immunotherapy treatment in Germany next month and is crowdfunding to help cover the costs.

Her brother, Ryan Gouge, 34, ran the London Marathon in her honour on raised £6,355 for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Ryan, a graphic designer, from Harold Wood, East London, said: “Paige was back working full-time and trying to lead as normal a life as possible.

“She was so happy with the fact she was pregnant that the apprehension about what could happen without her being on treatment – although it was something she and Taylor had to really think about – took a backseat.

“Now she needs to get that back on track.

“I wouldn’t have run a marathon and pushed myself through that pain without having a good reason and the charity gave me that.

“Knowing what Paige is going through and how little research has progressed since we lost my dad makes me want to help.

“What I’ve done is a small drop in a large ocean but if everyone does their bit, then things have got to improve for people like Paige in the future.”

Headaches and lethargy

Paige had experienced headaches and low energy – but put it down to a low iron count.

Following a seizure and an MRI scan, Paige was diagnosed with glioblastoma in October 2021.

In March 2022 she started her treatment but unexpectedly found out she was pregnant in summer 2023 – and had to pause her treatment.

After welcoming baby Alfred in April 2024, Paige is ready to get back to her treatment – and went along to watch her brother run the marathon last Sunday.

Ryan said: “It was so important to me that I didn’t let anyone down that I felt the weight of the world on me, but, thankfully, I got through it.

“I had 35 supporters including family and ex-colleagues, so that helped, and the other Brain Tumour Research runners were amazing. I felt pure relief at crossing the finish line.

“Taylor stayed at home because of a knee injury so he had Alfred and Paige came to watch me run. When I saw her, the scale of what we had done hit me.

“Having her there was the most important thing for me. If she hadn’t been, I’m not sure it would have had the same impact, but the fact she was and she was so supportive was great.

“She even bought me a gift bag with a massage gun in it to give me after the race.”

Carol Robertson, national events manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Paige’s story is a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of brain tumours, which can affect anyone at any time.

“They’re the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s and yet just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002.

“We’re determined to change that, but we can’t do it alone.

“We’re really grateful to Ryan for taking on this huge challenge for us and we wish Paige the best of luck with motherhood and her continued treatment. Together we will find a cure.”

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