A selfless dad who dedicated his final months to helping others has been nominated as our first Covid hero, just as he appears to have been given fresh hope.
Earlier this year Steve Edwards, 41, was told that 90 per cent of his liver was riddled with cancer and that he had two large tumours in his bowel.
He was given just months to live – until October this year, his 41st birthday.
Instead of wallowing in his diagnosis the brave dad, originally from St Austell but now living in Redruth, decided he was going to make what little time he had left truly count and embarked on a selfless mission to raise thousands for the NHS – which resulted in a grand total of £7,113.
Steve, who is father to three daughters – Chantelle, 21, Lesha, 20, and Aleana, 15, and is also stepfather to Mya, 15, Callum, 13, and Whitney, 12 – had been having problems with an upset stomach, having also suffered from gallstones months earlier.
He put it down to his diet, as he was eating more as part of his gym training. But when the issue wasn’t improving, his partner, Sarah, urged him to see a doctor.
While Steve was initially given hope that the bowel issue was treatable, further scans revealed that the cancer had spread to his liver.
Doctors told him that the cancer was incurable and, even with palliative chemotherapy treatment which could help to control the disease, he would probably live no longer than a year.
By the time he actually took part in his charity bike ride three months later however, he says his cancer had decreased by around 50 per cent across his whole body and an MRI scan eight weeks ago showed that just 10 per cent of his liver was now affected and showed signs of his bowel tumours shrinking.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” he said. “I have a full body MRI this week and should have the results on Friday (November 27).
“I still don’t fully understand how it has gone from being written off and declared as incurable and inoperable in April by surgeons to potentially being given the all clear and being operable now. It has all happened so fast and so intensely that I haven’t had time to take it all in.
“I was given until mid-October, my birthday, so anything past that was a bonus but in myself I’ve found myself wanting to make little plans and it has just changed my outlook on life as a whole.
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“I’m not stopping here,” he continued. “I want to continue with the charity work I started, the bike ride is setup for next year, and I have got Decembeard coming up to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.
“Something like this just makes you want to live every day like you should, like every day counts, and if it wasn’t for everybody around me then I wouldn’t be able to do that.
“I was just trying to carry on as normal because if you stop being normal everything else around you stops being normal and the whole situation changes. I appreciate you could find yourself in a bit of a dark place but I’ve been lucky to have the support of everyone around me which has kept me on the right path.
He added: “It helps that I just have so much to live for.”
To donate to Steve’s current fundraiser, click here. He is growing a beard this December to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.