Cancer survivor overcomes the odds to bid to be Britain's Strongest Disabled Man
A former cage fighter left paralysed after battling cancer is bidding to be named Britain's Strongest Disabled Man.
Stephen Trotter was just 19 when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma of the Spine five years ago and given a 5% chance of surviving.
But he has since been given the all-clear and despite only gaining the use of his arms again three years ago, he is undergoing a tough training regime after being invited to take part in next month’s competition.
“It was a rare form of cancer that went from just below the shoulders right down my back and round my ribs,” he said.
“I was in the Freeman Hospital for radio and chemotherapy for 13 or 14 months. I was in and out of the hospital or the Walkergate rehabilitation centre full-time.”
Stephen was given the all-clear in 2014, but will have to undergo six-monthly checks for the rest of his life.
“I was absolutely ecstatic when I got the all-clear. I was that gob-smacked that I don’t think I could put into words how I felt for two-and-a-half days.”
He was, however, initially left fully paralysed as a result of the surgery.
“They did cut a couple of nerves in my back and they did not know how far I was going to be affected,” he said.
“I got the full use of my arms back three years ago now.”
Stephen still has to use a wheelchair but is hopeful he will walk again.
“They told me it would be for life, but I am slowly getting the movement back,” he said.
Stephen has been working with personal trainer Tom Parkin at Fitness Affinity in Whitby Street South for just over a year.
“He has got me on the right nutrition, the right training plan, it just all seems to have clicked,” he said.
“Over the last year, he has got me up to lifting around 240kg, which given I started at 100kg, is a massive jump.”
Now he is set to compete in the men’s seated category of Britain’s Strongest Disabled Man in Chard, Somerset, on May 12.
“I got the invitation from the organiser,” he said.
“He said ‘I have seen your videos on Facebook and Instagram. I want you to come down. I think you have a good chance of finishing in the top five if you compete’.”
The competition is made up of five events, including a 200kg sled-pull, 40kg dead lift and Stephen’s personal favourite, the Atlas Stones.
“I am confident I will finish in the top five,” he said.
“I want to win - if you didn’t want to win, there would be no point in going - but I’m confident that if I’m not on the podium, a top five finish is possible.”