About Stephen

Stephen was born on the 16th December 1994. He progressed through primary school and high school like a normal kid. He was a talented student who had ambitions of becoming a doctor, played lots of sports (most notable county level athletics and cross country, and football for Walsall Youth Team) and played drums in a local band. Alongside this he liked socializing and going out with friends.

A selection of general photos and pictures of the things he enjoyed doing can be viewed here

Stephen in hospital1

On the 6th September 2010, aged 15, Stephen was then diagnosed with stage 3B colorectal cancer. After 6 months of crippling symptoms he underwent a hemicolectomy to remove a tumour from his bowel, by this point his weight had dropped to as low as 47kg. He then underwent 6 months of chemotherapy. The treatment had all kinds of side effects but throughout Stephen amazed everyone with his determination not to let the treatment and diagnosis get on top of him. When he had the energy he always still strived to go out with friends, he still kept up with as much sport as he could (for example he did cross-country running training even though he had a central line inserted into his chest, much to the amazement of his running group) and most impressively, even after the doctors advised him to take a year out of school due to the significant time he was expected to miss, he continued with his studies and at the end of the year received 5A* 4As and 2 distinctions in his GCSE’s.

Stephen's exam success at the end of Year 11

In the summer of 2011 he then thankfully found himself in remission. In October he found a lump in his leg though, and on the 9th December 2011 it was confirmed his cancer had returned. He then underwent surgery to remove the tumour and 30 sessions of radiotherapy. Stephen once again remained positive and pragmatic throughout and, despite the emotional toll and physical hindrances to do with his new diagnosis, he kept up with his studies again and at the end of year 12 got an A* in A level Maths, A’s in AS biology, chemistry and physics, and an A in self-taught AS Psychology.

The following summer Stephen had some more scan results and it was confirmed the tumour in his leg had again returned. He then underwent a new regime of chemotherapy and, after 3 months of brutal symptoms caused by the treatment, scans showed the tumour had continued to increase in size. It was at this point he was told the only cure would be to amputate the whole of his left leg above the knee- after some consideration he agreed.

However before the surgeons had chance to do this, the cancer had spread to his pelvis, rendering the original operation pointless, and it was at this point his cancer was deemed ‘incurable’ by the doctors.

Since this point in time he has undergone more surgery, isolated limb perfusion chemotherapy, more surgery and even more chemotherapy. Despite all this his cancer has still continued to grow and spread. He currently has a handful of tumours crippling his left leg and most recently some new abnormalities have been found in the glands of his chest wall. He has recently started another, i.e. a fourth, regime of chemotherapy.

Stephen in hospital3

Despite all this he remains positive and is determined to leave his mark on the world.
On the 7th January 2013 he decided to share his life and outlook with the whole world, starting off by making an online page called “Stephen’s Story”….