About 15 years ago, mother of two Ms van den Acker had her first cavernoma, or lesion on her brain, discovered.
She now has multiple cavernomas, one of which is in the brainstem and has a tendency to bleed, which is a constant threat to her life.
‘There is not a lot of choice when dealing with this condition, other than brain surgery if possible, and it could kill me anytime,’ she said.
‘I choose not to let the condition stop me from being the person I want to be.’
She said what really affected her day to day life was a lesion bleed in her brainstem that needed life-saving surgery in October 2011.
‘I have had to re-prioritise my life in almost every area’