It may only be a toy, but it took an Etch-A-Sketch – and a little motherly persuasion – to finally diagnose a little boy with the brain tumour that was wreaking havoc on his health.


Little Emre Erulkeroglu, who is just seven years old, kept complaining about a persistent headache; but it wasn’t until he drew a self-portrait on his trusty toy, outlining where the pain was, that alarm bells went off.


According to The Sun, Emre’s symptoms began back in 2015, when he awoke with a chronic headache that was causing him to vomit. He was brought to A&E, but his mother Tiffani was told that he was suffering with migraine, and to bring him home.


Little Emre’s condition continued to deteriorate, and his headaches lasted for weeks. Eventually, when Tiffani spotted a self-portrait Emre drew – featuring ‘pain’ scribbled onto his forehead – she decided that enough was enough.



Tiffani began doing her own research, and as she studied the symptoms of brain tumours online, she came to the harrowing realisation that Emre was ticking all of the boxes.


Tiffani subsequently demanded for Emre to undergo an MRI, which eventually led to the discovery of a cyst in his pineal gland. Incredibly, though, she was told that this cyst wasn’t the source of his ailments.


Again, Tiffani was told to take Emre home, and his condition continued to deteriorate. A return to hospital finally led to the discovery of an inoperable cystic tumour.


Young Emre is now on ‘wait and watch’, after undergoing a lumbar puncture and endoscopic ventriculostomy.



It took three months for Tiffani to finally get the answers she needed, and she has chosen to share Emre’s story (via The Brain Tumour Charity) to raise awareness of how important it is to know the signs of a brain tumour. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Problems with hearing, balance and vision
  • Changes in concentration levels and focus
  • Changes to speech and sense of smell
  • Facial paralysis
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures


If you are ever concerned about your health or that of your little one, always seek the advice of your doctor. And if you ever feel like you need a second-opinion – as Emre’s story proves – it’s always worth pushing for.


We have no doubt that Emre’s story will help other children suffering with illness, and we’re wishing him all the best with the journey ahead.