Mum-of-three diagnosed with brain tumour after giving birth now donating business profits to charity which helped her

Ingenious Gifts is a handmade gifts market place launched after owner Michelle Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumour

By Adam Barker
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 2:59 pm
Ingenious Gifts' owner Michelle Baker (left) with her children Ruby (right) and Lewis (centre).
Ingenious Gifts' owner Michelle Baker (left) with her children Ruby (right) and Lewis (centre).

A Peterborough-based business is donating a percentage of its profits to a brain tumour charity after it’s owner experienced a tumour developing in her brain for 15 years.

Ingenious Gifts is an online handmade gifts marketplace, which is donating a percentage of the commission it makes from the items it sells to The Brain Tumour Charity.

Owners Andrew Spackman and Michelle Baker launched the business in 2019 after Michelle was diagnosed with a brain tumour just six months after the birth of their son, Lewis.

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Michelle Baker in hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2019.

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“Ingenious Gifts was launched out of a desire to make sense of the situation and as a way to distract and motivate us in a time of enormous uncertainty and stress,” Andrew said.

“Going forwards, we wanted to find a way to support other families facing similar challenges.”

Michelle received her diagnosis at the age of 39 but doctors believed the tumour has been slowly developing in her brain for 15 years.

Her symptoms had been put down to pregnancy and postpartum hormones, which included bouts of dizziness, headaches, sickness, insomnia, weakness in her legs and feeling confused.

‘Complete blur’

“The diagnosis was a complete blur to me and I remember very little of it,” Michelle said.

“I was shown an image on the computer, which looked just like a big, meaningless blob.

"The verdict was stark. I had a massive tumour growing on my right frontal lobe, which was affecting my personality, behaviour and memory.”

Michelle had to wait a month between receiving her diagnosis and getting treatment.

She was prescribed high doses of steroids and needed three surgeries in total but she had successful brain surgery to remove the tumour – followed by two further surgeries.

“While going through all this, The Brain Tumour Charity was vital for me,” Michelle added. “I used the website regularly for advice, information, support groups and forums.”

Ingenious Gifts now donates three percent of the commission it makes to The Brain Tumour Charity.

The online marketplace supports local, independent and ethical businesses – selling a collection of unique and handmade gifts.