In 2001, Nicci Roscoe’s life was exactly where she wanted it to be – she was head of aerobics for David Lloyd leisure clubs, she appeared regularly on TV and radio shows as a health and fitness expert, and she had had a successful career as the assistant fashion and beauty editor for Company magazine.

But in December of that year, everything changed.

Out shopping one day, she was struck down with crippling pains in her head and lost her speech and, partly, her sight, but her GP put it down to work-related stress and sent her home with tablets for migraines.

But she didn’t recover her speech and consulted another GP who immediately sent her to a neurosurgeon who, after an MRI scan, discovered she had a meningioma, a slow-growing tumour of the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

“I found out I had a brain tumour,“ says the 52-year-old from Hampstead Garden Suburb. “They told me that if they didn’t get it out in time I would be like a vegetable within two years, and dead within five.

“It was a terrible shock, all I could think about were my children, Adam and Gemma. It was really, really scary – I didn’t know if I was going to wake up.“

Nicci was told that the operation to remove the tumour could result in her being paralysed down one side or that she could lose her speech, but, as far as she was concerned, there was no question of not having it – and come through it she did.

After months of therapy to help her recover her speech and ability to walk, Nicci decided to train as a life coach to help other people through difficult times or situations in their life.

“That’s the one great thing that’s come out of this – apart from still being alive,“ she laughs. “I’ve been able to help people with their self-confidence and whatever adversity they’re going through, things that are preventing them from moving forward.“

She then took a masters course in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), training under founder Richard Bandler and celebrity hypnotherapist and self-help guru Paul McKenna, and is now a qualified practitioner as well as a professional motivational speaker, and has just published her first book, Fabulous Impact – Step Into the New You and Rewrite Your Own Script, to reach out and help even more people.

“I live with pain every day, all the time,“ says Nicci, who grew up in Temple Fortune and Elstree, “so I could quite easily sit and do nothing, but I choose to get up and go out and coach other people and speak at events.

“Whatever’s going on in your life – your job, relationship issues or confidence problems, anything at all that’s causing you stress and upset – you have to take control. You have to say to yourself ‘I’m going to choose to change’.

“I wake up every day and I’m so grateful to be alive.“

  • Fabulous Impact – Step Into the New You and Rewrite Your Own Script is available from