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Beat The Beast Challenge

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Beating The Beast

BEAT THE BEAST CHALLENGE

Please sponsor me to ‘Live Life to Beat the Beast’ In order to help me to save as many lives as I can, while improving the life chances of as many people as I can, for as long as ever I can

 

In December 2012, after 20 years of service I left the Army. Just 9 months later I was diagnosed with two diseases which we now know were triggered by a blunt force trauma sustained, many years earlier, during my service.

One disease was a Cholesteatoma which was successfully treated through surgery but, after 16 years of growth undetected it had grown to such a size that its removal also required the removal of the entire inner ear resulting in a total loss of hearing in the right ear as well as a significant loss of balance.

The other disease was a brain tumour. Having grown so slowly as a grade 1 tumour over 16 years, the brain had adjusted and adapted to this beast of a tumour, so I was asymptomatic when my brilliant NHS ENT consultant discovered it by dint of thorough investigation. But it had grown to such a size that it jumped, while under observation, from a grade 1 to a grade 3 tumour. It had already pushed the centre line of my brain all the way over to just above my left ear and left the brain so out of shape that my neurologist was astounded that I could even walk or talk when we first met after the first MRI scan.

I launched into a desperate search for a miracle treatment and after a fourth second opinion the brain tumour was classed as terminal with ‘at best’ 3 years to live, preceded by a rapid decline into a cognitive and motor function vegetable prior to my demise.

And then, to make matters worse, I developed epilepsy.