Podcast: Ellen’s Acoustic Neuroma Story

In this Aunty M Brain Tumour’s Talk Show episode, Ellen Yates reflects on her acoustic neuroma diagnosis in 2015, discussing initial symptoms, misdiagnoses, and the moment of imbalance and numbness. She emphasizes the emotional toll, urging self-compassion for those with brain tumours. Ellen’s fundraising efforts aim to combat isolation, support survivors, and honour her late friend’s memory. Despite emotional challenges, she remains committed to making a positive impact. This interview highlights the hidden nature of brain tumours and the resilience individuals like Ellen demonstrate.

Ellen Yates Has Been On Watch And Wait For 8 Years

Symptoms and Initial Concerns

  • In 2015, Ellen experienced unusual symptoms, including episodes of losing vision and diminishing hearing in her left ear.
  • Initially, she thought her symptoms might be related to blood pressure issues, but her blood pressure was consistently normal.
  • Ellen didn’t seek immediate medical attention until a specific incident on December 29, 2014, when she woke up feeling lightheaded and with a distorted sensation in her mouth, resembling a stroke.
  • Ellen’s husband noticed her distress and called the GP, initially diagnosing it as an ear infection.

Acoustic Neuroma Journey

  • Ellen’s condition worsened, leading to severe vertigo and difficulty standing up.
  • Despite medical advice and attempts at the Epley manoeuvre, her condition did not improve.
  • Ellen could not return to her office-based job, which involved driving, due to her unstable condition.
  • Ellen describes her husband’s concerns, as he had known people who had passed away from brain tumours and observed her increasing clumsiness.
  • Ellen underwent a scan in March and received an official diagnosis on April 20, 2015, of a benign growth on her balance nerve.

Aunty M Brain Tumours Podcast Episode with Guest Ellen Yates

Emotional Impact

  • Ellen reflects on her reaction to the diagnosis and her relief upon hearing the term “benign.”
  • She acknowledges the mental and emotional toll of the diagnosis and the challenges of coping with an inoperable brain tumour.
  • Ellen emphasizes the importance of self-compassion for those facing similar health challenges.

Fundraising and Support

  • Ellen discusses her fundraising efforts, which began on her 60th birthday, as a way to help others facing similar situations.
  • She shares her desire to make a positive impact and ensure that others don’t feel as alone as she did during her journey.
  • Ellen mentions her closed Facebook group, which provides support not only to brain tumour patients but also to caregivers and friends.
  • She highlights the unique bond that forms within the brain tumour community and the importance of connecting with others who understand the experience.

Upcoming Crochet Fundraising Event

  • Ellen announces an upcoming fundraising event in collaboration with Brainstrust in November.
  • She discusses her crochet work, which has gained attention and helped raise awareness about brain tumours.
  • Ellen’s crochet work is showcased under the brand Maid in Kernow.”
  • She finds crochet to be a relaxing and rewarding creative outlet.
  • Ellen donates her crochet creations to charities, ensuring they bring smiles to people’s faces.

Ellen is Fundraising: Gnomes

Remembering a Friend

  • Ellen shares a touching story about her best friend of 60 years, who passed away from a grade 4 brain tumour.
  • She recalls their deep friendship and the impact her friend had on her life.
  • Ellen’s upcoming fundraising event is dedicated to her late friend’s memory.
  • She mentions that Brainstrust will share their story as part of the fundraiser.


Ellen and Dawn

Ellen and Dawn

Invisible Illness and Coping

  • The conversation touches on the challenges of living with an invisible illness like a brain tumour.
  • Ellen highlights the difficulty of conveying the extent of her condition when she may appear fine on the outside.
  • She shares an anecdote about how people often comment on her looking well, even on her bad days.
  • Aunty M Brain Tumours humorously remarks that people should “fold her inside out” to understand her condition truly.


  • Aunty M thanks Ellen for sharing her inspiring and heartfelt story.
  • Ellen hopes to continue raising funds and awareness for brain tumour patients in her friend’s memory.
  • The podcast episode concludes on a warm and supportive note.

Aunty M Brain Tumours Podcast Episode with Guest Ellen Yates



Ellen is Fundraising For Brainstrust. Check out her crochet creations: Gnomes

Ellen is Fundraising: Gnomes


Ellen Yates speaks about - After I managed to get over my shock, I said to my husband that if I could do one thing to help someone else diagnosed with a acoustic neuroma not feel so alone and isolated as I had felt then, I would feel a lot happier

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.