'Plenty of life to live': Teen battles shock diagnosis
JUST days ago, Ashleigh Moller went to hospital complaining of a headache and blurred vision.
Within two hours, she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a 20 cent piece.
The Maryborough teenager was rushed to a Brisbane hospital, to prepare for major surgery in the coming days.
Speaking to the Chronicle from her Queensland Children's Hospital room yesterday, Ashleigh said she was staying positive.
While admitting the situation was scary, she said it was just part of life.
"You just have to deal with it," she said. "It was a bit of a shock and getting to Brisbane has been a whirlwind.
"I have plenty in my life left to live. My family have been absolutely amazing support through this."
Ashleigh, 16, is well-known on the Maryborough Speedway circuit.
Her dad, Wayne, is the club's president and said his daughter was "so strong".
"It's going to be a tough road but she is a strong kid and she is going to take it in her stride," Wayne said.
"She has no concerns, it is just the rest of us."
He commended Maryborough Hospital staff for their care and quick thinking.
"It happened really fast and the doctors, staff and facilities have been amazing in looking after her," Wayne said.
"At Maryborough, staff identified and acted so quickly."
The family spent yesterday exploring Brisbane, determined not to spend their time stuck in a hospital room.
Wayne said the family's devastating news should serve as a warning for others.
"We never saw it coming, not even in our wildest dream could you image our 16-year-old daughter who is healthy, at the top of her class academically and a racer had a brain tumour," he said.
"If you have severe headaches or blurred vision, go and get it checked. You never know. Doctors told us Ashleigh could have had this for years and not known."
At this stage, Ashleigh will go on the operating table today or tomorrow, depending on the results of an MRI scan.
"This girl is just amazing, the way she has taken this obstacle thrown in her way. She has such a positive outlook and wonderful spirit. I am so proud of her," Wayne said.
"She wants to be a doctor and she is interested in the scans, what is going to happen and how. She is asking lots of questions and even the doctors are impressed with what she is picking up."