A FORMER cage fighter left paralysed by cancer when he was just 19 is determined that he will walk again.
Stephen Trotter, 20, was devastated after being diagnosed with cancer of the spine in June last year.
Despite being left confined to a wheelchair, he has vowed that he will be there this Sunday to take part in Miles for Men.
And he is hopeful that with the help of physiotherapy he could still walk one day.
“I can’t wait to do Miles for Men and all my family and friends, and my partner Gemma Rayner, will be there,” said Stephen. “I’m getting physio and they’ve got my legs moving again – I’ve got the determination to get on my feet.”
Stephen, from Wordsworth Avenue, in Hartlepool, was a cage fighter and played rugby in Billingham before his health ordeal.
But he started to get weak, couldn’t walk properly and collapsed at home and fell down the stairs.
He had three months of tests with his GP, and at One Life Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
At North Tees, he was dealt the blow that he had spinal cancer and had an emergency operation to remove part of a tumour.
The tumour went from his shoulders down to his tenth vertebra and round into his ribs.
Stephen, who got his security industry licence two days before he collapsed, has spent the past year at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where he had 10 months of chemotherapy alongside radiotherapy.
He is now in remission and currently living in the neurological rehabilitation centre at the Hawthorns Care Home, in Peterlee, until a house in Hartlepool can be adapted for him.
But Stephen – who had been largely bed-bound while in hospital – said he is glad to be in Peterlee and closer to his family than he was while in Newcastle.
The former Manor College of Technology and Stockton Riverside College student said: “I’ve got lots of plans.
“I know there’s still life out there, you have got to find positives.”
Stephen will be pushed round the 5k Miles for Men course, which starts and finishes at The Domes, in Tees Road, Seaton Carew, by race founder Michael Day, Kevin Hill, Michael Willingham and town cabbie Stephen Picton.
Since its launch, the event has raised £84,500.
There is a 2,000 limit on runners at Hartlepool this year, with the event starting at 1pm.
Anyone wanting to register for the event should visit www.milesformen.co.uk
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