Support Wear A Hat Day, urge parents of Lily, aged 11

Lily Hawkins PNL-151103-130535001
Lily Hawkins PNL-151103-130535001
  • Neurologists thought Lily had dyspraxia when she started walking off-balance
  • A CAT scan showed a benign brain tumour 10cm across
  • Lily underwent an eight-hour operation to remove most of the tumour

The parents of a girl who has a brain tumour are asking people to take part in Wear A Hat Day, raising moneyfor Brain Tumour Research.

The annual event, on Friday March 27, sees people from businesses, schools, shops and offices donning hats and making donations to Brain Tumour Research.

Lily Hawkins, aged 11, from Dadford, was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which thankfully turned out to be benign, in January 2010.

Her symptoms started with a week of headaches in September 2009. Then mum Lorraine noticed Lily was walking off balance and throwing her left leg out to one side.

At first, the paediatric neurologist thought Lily had dyspraxia. But by January Lily was vomiting in the mornings so her GP sent her for a CAT scan at Milton Keynes Hospital.

Lorraine and husband Shane were in the room with the radiologist as the pictures came up on the screen.

Lorraine said: “I could see a large shadow on the image and my legs turned to jelly. It felt like I was going to buckle.”

Lily was transferred to the John Radcliffe, in Oxford, where she underwent an eight-hour operation in which surgeons removed as much as they could of a tumour which measured about 10cm across.

Lily now has annual scans.

Lorraine said: “I am thankful that the brain tumour Lily had was not an aggressive one, because the delay in diagnosis could have been a disaster. But a benign brain tumour is not a walk in the park – you are forever thinking that the tumour could grow back.”

This month Lily, who is due to move on to The Buckingham School in September, is organising her third and final Wear A Hat Day event at her primary school, St James’ and St John’s, in Chackmore.

Find out more about Wear A Hat Day at