A COURAGEOUS South Tyneside man who spent his teenage years battling an inoperable brain tumour can now look to the future.
At the age of 12, John Arthur from Westoe, South Shields, was diagnosed with the cancerous tumour.
I feel relived now that I’ve had the operation and I’m just so glad that it’s gone.John Arthur, who had a brain tumour for almost a decade
At the time surgery wasn’t an option, due to the risks involved, and John went through years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a bid to shrink the growth.
However, in recent years cysts had also began to grow on the 21–year–old’s brain causing John and his family concern.
But advances in technology during the last decade have meant that medics at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary were finally able to operate.
Last month, on April 14, John underwent surgery to remove all of the affected area – meaning he’s now tumour free for the first time in almost a decade.
He said: “They doctors always said that it was inoperable, but on April 14 I had my operate, just a little while after they said they could now do surgery.
“The cysts on my brain were building up and causing pressure, so they thought it would be a good idea to operate.
“Mind I was quite surprised when they said they were going to do it.”
John’s parents Adrienne, 55, and Bill, 57, plus sister Catherine, 25, first noticed something wasn’t right with John’s health in 2005, when they discovered he wasn’t using his right arm correctly.
An MRI scan soon revealed that the youngster had a tumour growing on his brain.
However, the devastating diagnosis didn’t stop John, and despite the tumour causing him become paralysed in his right arm and half-paralysed in his right leg, he taught himself how to write again with his left hand.
And despite all the treatments he went through, John made sure he attended Mortimer Comprehensive School, as often as could.
His courage impressed his physiotherapist at the RVI so much, in 2008 he was nominated for a Star Award which are administered by the Children’s Foundation.
John will have to go back for tests in the future to make sure he is all cancer free.
But now he’s looking forward to life and is already back at his job in Bede’s world Jarrow, where he is a volunteer.
He said: “I feel great now, I was practically back at Bede’s World straight away. I feel relived now that I’ve had the operation and I’m just so glad that it’s gone.”