AN inspirational young man left paralysed by cancer has vowed to compete in a charity race set up to fight the disease after months of gruelling treatment.
Last July, Stephen Trotter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and was left devastated when medics told him that the treatment he needed would leave him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
But after the initial heartbreak, the 20-year-old devoted himself to fighting the disease and after undergoing a gruelling 10 months of chemotherapy and 50 sessions of radiotherapy as part of his ongoing treatment, he has now vowed to be at the start line of this year’s Miles for Men event in Hartlepool.
The former Manor College of Technology student, who is now unable to move below his stomach, said: “Being diagnosed with cancer was the worst feeling ever.
“I will never ever forget that day.
“At first I just wanted to give in, I wanted it to take me.
“Then to be told that if I do make a full recovery I will never walk again, that just made me question things again, if there was any point in actually living.
“But then I thought what was the point in thinking like that. If I stood any chance I had to fight it.”
Stephen first started suffering pain in his back early last summer, but admitted he didn’t think too much of it until he woke up one morning, collapsed and fell down the stairs in his home in the Rift House area of Hartlepool.
He was admitted to hospital and within weeks was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
His treatment started immediately and since July last year Stephen has spent nine months in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, other than being allowed home for Christmas.
“You can’t begin to imagine how good it was to be back home,” admitted Stephen, who lives with his mum Lynne Hamilton, 48, and nieces Courtney Hamilton, nine, and Paige Phelan, six.
As he approaches his final two cycles of treatment, Stephen is hopeful the gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy will have cleared his body of the cancer.
But he has had to adjust his mind to the fact that he will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
“It’s left me paralysed,” he said.
“I can’t move at all below the stomach.
“At first I couldn’t get my head around that at all, it was heartbreaking.
“But since then I have been in touch with other people up and down the country who are wheelchair-bound and they have told me to never give up and said I can still have a good quality of life.”
Inspirational Stephen, a former student at Stockton Riverside College, has now vowed to raise money to help others who are going through the same frightening ordeal he has faced and will be on the start line at this year’s Miles for Men race, in July, where the charity’s big-hearted founder, Michael Day, will push him around the 5k course in his wheelchair.
“Initially I was going to the event to shave my niece’s hair off at the end of the race to raise money,” he said.
“Then I decided what was the point in only doing that.
“After everything I have been through I should be doing it and giving people the incentive to support the charity.”