I stared at my face in the mirror. A tumour? How could I have a tumour?
I laughed at my reflection in the mirror, inside my brain, my mind, inside me, was something uninvited. A week earlier I had been in Crete having the time of my life. This couldn't be happening. I stopped laughing. It was.
Life was on the up for Neil Vines. He was 19, a personal trainer, a fit and healthy teenager who had rowed competitively and ran for his county - he was even aiming for the Olympics.
But in 2012 tragedy struck.
Neil was in Crete, organising sports activities for children. He'd suffered nagging pains in his neck for a while, but inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger's words 'Better sore than sorry,' Neil pushed through.
But one day while swimming, Neil lost the feelings in his legs.
Neil had gone from having the time of his life to having the fight of his life. And he was ready for it. Despite gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and brain surgery, Neil, inspired by his devoted family, his medical team and the Teenage Cancer Trust, found the courage and strength to battle on.
Today, Neil, a relentless fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust, is still fighting. The cancer and its treatments have ravaged his body and he faces challenges with mobility, sight and concentration. But the disease cannot and will not break Neil's positive attitude. His story, told in this uplifting memoir, is an inspiration to us all, whatever we face.
How to purchase
The cost is £7.99 with all proceeds going towards the charity to be set up in Neil's name.
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Powerful Beyond Measure
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In November 2014, Neil decided that he wanted to write a memoir. As you will have read throughout Neil's Fundraising page, Neil was always wanting to help others. At the time he did this by raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust. By writing a memoir, he invisaged that his words and thoughts would be able to help those suffering from cancer or those facing a difficult time in their lives.
Neil faced unprecedented challenges in repect of overcoming the treatments he endured and the illness itself but he had a unique ability to move forwards with his determination, motivation, positivity and a great sense of humour. He always strived to succeed and his memoir recounts how he accomplished such great achievements throughout his battle against cancer.
We hope this memoir will provide comfort and inspiration to those who read it and the proceeds of sale will in turn benifit the charity being established in Neil's memory.
Neil's memoir is available to purchase using the details below.