How woman's 'atrocious' handwriting led to horrific discovery

Yahoo News Staff
·3-min read

A young Aussie woman has bravely shared her story about how her partner picked up on a small detail which led to her cancer diagnosis.

Jess Selwood was 21-years-old when she met up with her partner in Hungary after months apart and he told her something wasn’t right.

In 2018, Ms Selwood had been working at Disney World in the US for five months, where she had been told to get an MRI, however fearing exorbitant bills she threw the referral out, according to

In the time apart from her boyfriend, Ms Selwood admitted her health had deteriorated and it was on the plane ride home when her boyfriend noticed her handwriting.

Jess Selwood was diagnosed with brain cancer, which impacted her hearing and sight.
Jess Selwood was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma after returning home from overseas. Source: YouTube/Canteen Australia

“On the plane ride home, on the declaration form I had to fill out, he told me my handwriting was atrocious,” she told

“My hearing and eye sight was really bad. When we came through the gates mum and dad were waiting there and I couldn’t see them in front of me.”

After returning home, Ms Selwood’s doctor sent her straight to the hospital for an MRI, it was discovered she had a tumour on her brain the size of a fist.

She was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma, now at 23, she has had radiation and chemotherapy, the radiation shrunk the tumour.

On average, the survival time for people diagnosed with glioblastoma is 15 to 16 months, for those who get surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment according to Healthline.

“Everyone with glioblastoma is different,” Healthline says.

“Some people don’t survive as long. Other people may survive up to five years or more, although it’s rare.”

Woman ‘shut down’ after brain cancer diagnosis

Ms Selwood, now a Canteen ambassador says she “shut down” after finding out she had brain cancer in a video shared by the charity recently.

However, she was able to make something positive come out of the ordeal.

“I want to have control of my cancer rather than let it control me, and I like to use that as a motivation for what I do every day,” she said in the video.

Ms Selwood connected with Canteen in August 2019, after she had settled into her routine and treatment.

Jess Selwood has undergone treatment for the cancer and is a Canteen Youth Ambassador.
Jess Selwood is now a Canteen Youth Ambassador. Source: YouTube/Canteen Australia

“I found new friends and a new family of sorts, that could support me through this time,” she said.

“Being with other people that understood what I was going through was really, really extraordinary.”

Ms Selwood has now dedicated her time to advocate for young cancer patients and despite her diagnosis, she has a “renewed purpose in life” as a Canteen Youth Ambassador.

Canteen supports Australians aged 12 to 25 who are cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, or know someone who is battling cancer.

By donating to the Christmas appeal, Canteen can provide free counselling services, peer support and specialised services for those in need.

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