Well, where do I start?
As you all know by now my name's Natalya, but you can call me T After 3 days of agonising labour (of which my mother reminds me frequently) I was born on 1st May 1980 with a full head of hair and my first black eye!
Up until June 2005 I lived what most would call a 'normal' life, working for a large energy supplier, enjoying the love and friendship of my soulmate, Damian, and looking forward to each day.
Then in June 2005 my life changed forever when Damian passed away at the age of 30. He suffered a massive heartattack on 11th June and spent a week in ICU with many complications, sadly, on 18th June 2005 the doctors decided there was no more they could do and his life support was switched off.
Through my grief I found 2 things, a love for photography and the friendship of a wonderful man, Andrew. Both these things helped me get through each day and learn to live this new life.
Exactly a year and 2 days after Damian passed away Andrew received devastating news. Following surgery to remove a tumour from her brain, Andrew's 22 year old daughter, Rose, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme IV. This was the start of my research into high grade brain tumours. Over the next 5 months Rose went through Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy but sadly, just 2 weeks after collecting her degree, Rose passed away.
A month after Rose's passing I was hospitalised with suspected meningitis and spent 4 long weeks in hospital. When I was discharged they weren't sure what was wrong with me but I seemed to be over the worst and was allowed home to recover.
Unable to walk very well and housebound I picked up the research I had done during Rose's illness and decided this was something I could focus my time and energy on. And so began BT Buddies
Over the past 2 years I have continued to struggle with my health. Lots of pain medication and other treatments are helping me deal with/control my day to day symptoms.
I am now very lucky to live on the beautiful Isle of Mull with my cat, Archie, and spend my time working on the BT Buddies website and fundraising for our charity 'arm' RoseBuddies. In my spare time I like to indulge my passion for photography and enjoy getting out and about to see the world through my viewfinder.
Thanks for reading