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Gem Fest organised by Gemma Wensley who has defied terminal cancer

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: February 18, 2014

Gemma Wensley is organising Gem Fest

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A woman who began planning her funeral after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer has defied the disease - and is now organising her own festival instead.

Gemma Wensley, 31, was told she had an inoperable brain stem tumour in 2009 and had just months to live.

She left her job as a nurse, moved into a hospice and began preparing tearful goodbyes messages for friends and family.

But after four years of gruelling chemotherapy brave Gemma's tumours have begun to shrink.

She is now organising Gem Fest - an independent festival she has founded to raise money for brain cancer charities.

The arts, crafts, drama and dance showcase will be taking place in April and the proceeds will go to The Brain Tumour Charity and Hospiscare.

Gemma, of Exeter, Devon, said: "I had six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy every day. I could not see or hear anything. I was put on a high dose of steroids.

"I was told that if it carried on growing the way it was I was looking at just a few months to live. I was preparing for the worst - in my head I was planning my funeral .

"But then out of nowhere it started getting better. My doctors were baffled at the sudden improvement.

"The tumour is still there and needs to be treated, and I just take things a scan at a time. As long as my body can tolerate the chemo I will keep plodding along with it.

"Having this to organise, even though there is a lot to think about and to arrange, has kept me sane."

Gemma continued taking the same powerful chemo drugs and in November 2011 tests showed the tumour had started getting smaller.

Tickets for the event went on sale this week with a host of live acts and performers already confirmed for Exeter Phoenix on Sunday, April 20.

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