Former drag queen diagnosed with brain tumor shares her story in a hard-hitting campaign launched by a national research charity.
Eddie Ruggiero stars in the Stop the Devastation advertising campaign which was launched by the charity Brain Tumor Research.
The campaign hopes to raise awareness of brain tumors and expose the history of underfunding research into the disease.
Eddie, 33, lived in Brighton and worked as drag queen Eddie OK Adams, even coming in third in a pilot audition for what would become the popular reality TV show Ru Paul’s Drag Race in 2015.
But two years later, Edward had a seizure and was rushed to hospital over the Brighton Pride weekend.
After several scans, she was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor known as anaplastic astrocytoma and given three to five years to live.
He underwent surgery and follow-up treatment. A fatal infection meant the removal of part of his skull. He chose not to continue with exhausting chemotherapy.
Eddie, who now lives in Bedford, said: ‘The treatment has made me so sick, and I don’t understand why in the age of modern medicine the treatment options available to people like me are so barbaric. , more barbaric than the disease itself.
“I want to have the best quality of life for the time I have left. I have been offered reconstructive surgery but the truth is, at the moment, I would rather live with a big lump in my head than have another operation.
“It’s definitely a talking point and if I can use it to raise awareness of the situation for patients like me, that’s a positive thing. ”
Four years after his diagnosis, Eddie says he feels like he’s living on “borrowed time.”
Eddie’s mother Julie Ruggiero, who also lives in Bedford, called her son’s treatment “brutal”
Julie, 65, said: “Edward told me he’s not afraid to die but I’m terrified to live without him. It seems so unfair that brain tumors kill more people under the age of 40 than any other cancer. How is it that there are so few treatments?
“They surgically cut them up, burned them with radiation, then poisoned them with chemotherapy. Underneath all of this there is a human being like my son.
Eddie and Julie are both supporting the Stop the Devastation campaign, which is being launched at Wimbledon and will include outdoor advertising at other major sites in London.
Hugh Adams, spokesperson for Brain Tumor Research said: “Stop the Devastation lays bare the powerful and painful truth about brain tumors – they are blind, they can affect anyone at any age, there is no cure and for many, unfortunately, there is little or no hope.
“We are extremely grateful to Eddie for opening the camera to star in the campaign. By sharing his moving story he is helping us raise awareness and drive change.
“Brain tumor research is determined to make progress by raising awareness of the horrific statistics, funding research in its centers of excellence and continuing to lobby government and major cancer charities to increase national spending. ”
To donate £ 5, send NOMORE to 70085
For more information, visit www.braintumourresearch.org/stop-the-devastation
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This notice was published: 2021-07-04 05:00:00