IF a brain tumour the size of a clementine won’t stop you enjoying life, then it’s unlikely that anything will.
This is the mentality of 22-year-old Warwick man Mat Davis who, despite being diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous tumour, has found the joy in life rather than giving up on it.
Support worker Mr Davis was diagnosed with the tumour two years ago and is now planning to cycle from Lands End to John O Groats with his close friend Matt Whatson.
They will be raising money for Cancer Research, as the disease is something Mr Davis is all too familiar with as, along with his own condition, he has seen his mother overcome breast cancer and his grandmother overcome both lung and skin cancer.
He said: “The tumour gave me epilepsy, meaning I couldn’t drive, so Matt got me into cycling and I got a bike. We both really enjoy it and have been training together. We’re hoping to do it in ten days. I’m very optimistic, but I know it’s going to be hard.”
Mr Davis admits that not knowing how long he has left has changed his outlook on life, and given him a determination to enjoy himself.
“It is not in my personality to sit around and do nothing. I am just one person who is fighting this disease on a daily basis and refuse to let it dictate my life. It is terminal. I’ve got cancer for the rest of my life, but they can’t put a time on how long I’ve got.
“The tumour is on my motor strip, so if they did operate there’s a 60 per cent chance of paralysis, 20 per cent chance of it being fatal and then 20 per cent chance I’d come through. I don’t want to risk it until I have to.
“I’ve always been a positive person anyway, but it does put everything in perspective. You think of all the things you’ve taken for granted, because today could be the last day. I try not to really think of it like that, but I do try to seize the day.”
His last fundraising effort was to have his legs waxed in 2009, and he admits he’d rather cycle twice as far than have to face the pain of that again. Mr Davis and Whatson are hoping to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research, and he added: “It is my hope that not only will I be able to raise a substantial amount of money for this worthwhile charity, but that my actions will inspire others suffering not to give up but to live life to the full every day.”
To sponsor them go online.