Eastbourne brain tumour patient with long Covid takes on fitness challenge

Scott Temple on the Sussex Downs the first time he was able to go hiking alone again after years of illnessScott Temple on the Sussex Downs the first time he was able to go hiking alone again after years of illness
Scott Temple on the Sussex Downs the first time he was able to go hiking alone again after years of illness
An East Sussex brain tumour patient, who has spent almost two years battling long COVID, will be taking part in a month-long fitness challenge to help fund vital research.

Scott Temple, of Eastbourne, is “excited” to be taking part in the Brain Tumour Research charity’s 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge.

It comes after Scott, 40, was diagnosed with a low-grade meningioma in March 2020. He had been suffering with strange symptoms for more than 18 months, including 80 per cent numbness across his entire body and an intense pain in his stomach.

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He said: “I was getting weaker and could do less and less with my fingers. It was hard to touch things and I couldn’t tie my shoelaces, cut my toe nails or hold a drink.”

Scott, a support worker for people with complex neurological disabilities or progressive conditions, including brain tumours, underwent surgery to remove his tumour a week after receiving his diagnosis.

He said: “I was very lucky to have it taken out so quickly because it was just as lockdown hit. They managed to do a full removal and the top two bones in my neck had to come out too because my tumour was so big it was causing them to push against my spinal cord. The surgeons were surprised I was still walking, they did a great job.”

He intends to complete his steps with friends and colleagues and is planning to carry out hikes across different locations. They will be recorded on his Apple Watch.

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Scott expects this challenge to push him physically as he has been suffering from long Covid for almost two years, with sickness, fatigue, anxiety, heart palpitations, chest pains, difficulty swallowing and headaches among his symptoms.

He said: “Up until now, it’s been a nightmare. I’ve had no aftercare since my surgery and I got Covid in hospital. I got it again after and have had long Covid since then. I’m now about 80 per cent recovered, but previously if I walked a few miles I wouldn’t be able to breathe and I’d have to call an ambulance.

“Doing 10,000 steps a day will be quite a challenge for me because I’m still not fully fit, but I’ve got strong legs. I’m looking forward to it and am hoping it’ll stand me in good stead for the year. I used to walk a lot but I got into a bit of a funk so I’m going to use this to give me the oomph to get going again.”

He added: “Since I was diagnosed, I’ve found out about a lot more people with brain tumours. Not much is known about them or how you get them and I’d like to know more, which is why Brain Tumour Research is the perfect charity for me to support.”

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Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were really saddened to hear about everything Scott had been through and hope our 10,000 Steps a Day in February challenge gives him the impetus he needs to get things back on track.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“We’re determined to change this but it’s only by working together that we will be able to improve treatment options for patients and, ultimately, find a cure. We wish Scott the best of luck with his challenge.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To support Scott’s fundraising, visit www.facebook.com/donate/846399259945395.

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