After exhausting funds... Woman seeks help to remove brain tumours

July 29, 2016
Errol Crosby/Photographer Mellissa McDonald
Errol Crosby/Photographer Mellissa McDonald

After exhausting funds ...

Woman seeks help to remove brain tumours

For the past five months Mellissa McDonald has been suffering from excruciating headaches, memory loss, nosebleeds, facial swelling, and a myriad of other maladies, which doctors say might be the result of tumours and lesions resting on her brain.

The 28-year-old mother of two has to come up with just under $100,000 by August 8 to do a series of tests, which will determine the nature of the abnormalities in her brain, and the appropriate treatment. However, her funds are completely exhausted.

Since falling ill in February, McDonald said she has maxed out her health insurance and has shelled out more than $200,000 to cover her medical expenses, but none of the treatments helped her.

"I've always had migraines from my teenage years, so when I went to the doctors initially. They kept giving me migraine medicines, but that was just like water to me. It wouldn't help me," she explained.

McDonald, who hails from Hughenden in St Andrew, said what she was experiencing was completely different from the usual migraine side effects she is accustomed to.

"With migraines, my head would hurt for three days and stop. Now, I get excruciating headaches for a whole month non-stop. That's not normal," she shared.

severe memory loss

In addition, she has been experiencing severe memory loss, which has been affecting her ability to function properly.

"My memory has gotten really bad. I have to write down everything. The other day I went to my son's school to pick him up and I forgot what I went there for, so I left him there," she explained.

But McDonald's list of ailments does not stop there.

"I have numbness in my left side. Sometimes my vision just goes and then it comes back. I get double vision other times, so I can't do much. My face hurts me so much that my nose would bleed and my face just swells up really big. I also have very low blood pressure," she told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Completely convinced that her condition was more serious than her migraines, McDonald visited the hospital and explained all she was facing. The doctor ordered her to do an MRI, which showed that two tumours were resting at the top of her brain and that lesions were present at the back of her brain.

However, the doctors need to do another series of tests including an MRI and a lumbar puncture to determine if the tumours are cancerous, and the most appropriate treatment thereafter.

The tests will cost $98,000 and she will need another $800,000 for the tumour to be surgically removed. Another option is to shrink them through chemotherapy. However, neither options are in McDonald's financial reach.

She explained that she used to operate a cleaning service, but has since discontinued her business because of her severe ailment. She is now financially dependent on some family members and friends, but they too are running short.

The situation has sent McDonald into numerous bouts of depression and five-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter are being affected.

"My son keeps saying, 'mommy, why you falling down so much?'. He worries about me, but he doesn't really understand. My daughter is very smart and she has her schooling to focus on, so I don't have the heart to tell her what's really going on. But she knows I'm sick and she worries," she said.

McDonald said that it has been an extremely challenging time for, but she has a high level of mental toughness, which she developed through out her turbulent childhood years.

She is appealing for assistance with her medical bills, so that she can overcome her illness and take care of her children.

Persons wishing to help Mellissa McDonald may

contact her at


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