WHEN Swindon response officer Emma Brown booked an appointment for a stomach complaint the last thing she expected doctors to find was a tumour the size of a rugby ball.
But after being admitted to Great Western Hospital in Swindon with suspected appendicitis, just four days later she was having surgery to remove a tumour on her right ovary.
Miss Brown, 39, who has been based in Swindon for the past two years, was suffering from a cough and pain in her lower right abdomen when she booked an emergency doctor’s appointment on December 17 last year.
She had her right ovary removed during the surgery and a biopsy soon revealed she was suffering from ovarian cancer.
In four weeks’ time she will undergo chemotherapy at GWH.
She said: “Apart from the cough I felt well. There was a bit of bloating but I put that down to my eating because of the shift work.
"I was shocked but I have fantastic friends and family.
“We are in the hands of the people who can do the best for us.”
She said her partner, Justin Kimber, a crew manager at Marlborough Fire Station, had also been brilliant.
Miss Brown joined the force 20 years ago as a special constable volunteer before becoming a response officer.
Now PC Brown has vowed to shave off her hair in solidarity with other sufferers to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
She is in the process of organising a fundraising head shave at one of the hairdressers in Marlborough next month for Macmillan Cancer Support.
“My colleagues have been a fantastic support network. I cannot thank them enough for how they have, and continue, to rally round. I
hope to have my Sergeant, Alex Spargo, there on the day of the head shave,” she said. “Macmillan are the shining angels. Just to know they are there if you need them makes the experience easier.”
Miss Brown, who lives in Marlborough, said: “It is a distressing thing to experience if you are going to lose your hair.
"As soon as I got the diagnosis I wanted to turn a negative into a positive. “I am one of the fortunate ones who is not going to lose their hair but if I can make some good out of something I am going through it is worthwhile. “I shall be bald and proud, even if it means my ears get cold.”