MAFS’ Martha Kalifatidis’ Migraine Turned Into A Rare Brain Tumour Health Scare

"How is this real?"
Martha Kalifatidis brain tumour health scare

Have you ever made an appointment with a doctor for persistent migraines and been told you have a rare brain tumour? That’s precisely what happened to ex-MAFS contestant Martha Kalifatidis after a post-Fashion Week migraine turned into a few days in bed.

“Boy, have I got a story for you guys, and I need to explain where I’ve been the past 10 days,” Kalifatidis addressed her TikTok followers via a two-part video titled ‘the worst week of my life’, which she posted on the 29th of May.

According to Kalifatidis, who appeared on the sixth season of Married At First Sight Australia, she was flying back home to Melbourne, the Sunday after Australian Fashion Week, when she started experiencing a migraine.

“I just jumped into bed,” she said. “I thought nothing of it.”

However, come Tuesday she was still experiencing migraine symptoms, which alerted her partner and mother that something else might be going on, and they urged her to see a doctor.

“I thought I was pregnant, I did a pregnancy test,” she went on to say in the video. “I thought maybe it’s period symptoms, but I’ve never had [migraines] as a period symptom.”

After a consultation with her GP, the reality star’s doctor confirmed that they also thought it was strange she had been experiencing migraines for days, and asked her to get a CAT scan.

“I’ve never had a CAT scan before so I was a bit nervous,” the 35 year old admitted.

“The woman administering the scan to me held me on the bed and she [said] ‘look, I’m going to go and show the doctor upstairs your images, don’t get off the bed because we might need to take more photos’,” she said. “I’m already sh***ing myself at this stage.”

When the radiologist reappeared she relayed that the consulting doctor urgently wanted the reality star to call her GP to get her results as soon as possible — “don’t let it fall through the cracks”.

“Who says that to someone who’s just had a f***ing brain scan?,” posed the ex-MAFS star. “I’m so nervous and I just don’t feel good with what I’ve heard so far. I just didn’t feel right.”

After a few hours, Kalifatidis received a call from her GP with her radiology results, who explained to her that a cyst had been detected in her brain. “It’s called a colloid cyst and you need to go and see a neurosurgeon and have an MRI urgently,” they told her.

Kalifatidis said the news made her start hyperventilating immediately: “That’s all I needed right now. My life has just started. I just had a baby. My baby’s a year old.”

After being referred to a local neurosurgeon by her doctor, she was told that the clinic was fully booked and she wouldn’t be able to get an appointment for two weeks, despite the urgency of her case.

“By this stage, I thought my life was already over to be honest,” she admitted, saying she doom spiralled after Googling the term ‘colloid cyst’.

“A colloid cyst is one of the rarest brain tumours found in the human brain,” she explained. “Only two per cent of all tumours found in the human brain are colloid cysts. They’re in a really, really hard place to get to if you have to operate.”

Her doctor immediately insisted that she saw a neurosurgeon

After her doctor insisted she couldn’t wait two weeks to see a specialist, scared, Kalifatidis spent days calling hospitals and specialists trying to get an MRI scan.

“Please help me, my baby’s a year old and I need to look after him. I need to be okay. Please,” she begged with one of the many neurosurgeons she had dialled that day. Luckily, the doctor felt empathy for her and moved around her schedule so Kalifatidis could get an MRI the next day.

The prospect of a potential brain tumour made it difficult for the ex-MAFS contestant to even be around her son. “I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t touch him. I couldn’t be around him. I just couldn’t. I just spent those days in my room alone,” she said.

On the day of the MRI, the 35 year old waited an hour to meet with a doctor after her scan, only to be told she would need to have another CAT scan in order for the doctor to get some more photos of her brain.

“At this stage, the sheer state of panic I was in… I just kept thinking everything was getting worse and worse. What’s going to happen to me?,” she admitted.

After an excruciating few hours of waiting without any information, two CAT scans and an MRI under her belt, she was escorted upstairs to speak with the neurosurgeon.

The results of her test weren’t what she was expecting

“She’s sitting behind her desk, cool as a cucumber, just chilling, sitting behind her desk,” Kalifatidis explained. “I walk in there clutching my tissues… my face is all puffy because I’ve been crying for the past four days.”

The doctor asked her to recount the events of the last few days and her symptoms, which included waking up with a stiff neck, having a sore throat, and then, of course, the prolonged migraines.

It was at this point that the doctor asked the new mum if she had been doing anything strenuous in the days leading up to her migraines.

“I did do a Pilates class on Friday. I do Pilates at home [usually] and the class was a bit more intense than what I’m used to, so yeah, I probably did exert myself a bit more than I would at home,” Kalifatidis explained to the doctor.

The neurosurgeon started assessing her neck and shoulders, and located a large knot on the right side of her neck, and the MAFs star confirmed that she still had a stiff neck and shoulder from earlier in the week.

Then the doctor showed her the images of her brain, in which there were two clearly visible little lumps on her brain.

“You do have two calcium deposits in your brain that I can see in this photo, these are absolutely nothing to worry about,” the doctor assured her. “You also have this artery which is a little bit odd shaped, but we can keep an eye on that if you’re worried about it, but there’s no cyst. I cannot see a colloid cyst anywhere in your brain, so you do not have a cyst.”

“I did not even know what to do at this stage,” explained the 35 year old. “I jumped up out of my seat. I was sitting on [my husband] Michael, hugging him [and] crying. Then we all had a little laugh about it and she suspects that I have a pinched nerve in my neck that is causing migraines. I still actually have the pinched nerve and the migraine.”

“I don’t have a colloid cyst, I’m perfectly healthy. There’s nothing wrong with any of the findings in my brain. [The doctor] said I can have a perfectly healthy, long life with calcium deposits in my brain and this weird artery. I am totally fine,” she said relieved.

“I just spent the last week of my life thinking I was going to have the most invasive brain surgery, and potentially die in theatre, or die from this very rare cyst in my brain, and it was the darkest, most scariest time of my life,” she continued.

“The stress and just the anxiety and the panic that I went through, I don’t wish that on anyone. My poor family, my partner, my sister, everyone, my aunties, everyone who lived through this with me, I feel so sorry for them because everyone was so worried about me,” she shared.

“If you, or anyone that you know is going through something crazy like this, I just want to send you all the strength, all the courage because it is so hard and scary to go through something like this, to wake up everyday and just fight and just know that that’s your only option.”

Watch the full video below:


Worst week if my life!

♬ original sound – Martha Kalifatidis
@marthakalifatidis Replying to @angelique ♬ original sound – Martha Kalifatidis

Main image credit: @marthaa_k

Related stories