Sarcoma Awareness Week: John

The ‘No Right Leg’ Dairies

As a ‘right side through hip amputee’ there are many things I can no longer do but let’s not dwell on the negative as there are many things I can still do and in fact new experiences to challenge me.

Work is busy, building websites from home for a large American corporation. 

At 37, I contracted a life threatening soft tissue sarcoma in my right thigh – a 6.5kg tumour was removed. I must have annoyed someone or something quite important as a couple of years after my brush with cancer my right femur snapped and off we go again. I spent a year in and out of Hospital trying to get it to mend but to no avail so my only option was amputation.

I met a fantastic surgeon and a big shout out to Mr David Ward and his team at Kingston Hospital who first removed my right leg just below my hip in the attempt to give me a usable stump but due to infections they had no choice and after a long battle which lasted 26 weeks they removed my leg through hip (disarticulation). There are not many of us ‘through hips’ in the country and we all have long and drawn out tales of woe so at this point we can get onto the happier side of Amputation - living in Farnham in Surrey with my wonderful wife Megan (who probably deserves a medal for putting up with me) and my Bulldog Watson who is a constant source of fun.

I had problems with getting a prosthetic leg that was suitable for my condition from the NHS and eventually I was introduced to the charity SCAT who took time to listen to my plight and generously invested in my future by way of a shiny new Ottobok leg which has opened my life to new possibilities and experiences. 

This brings us almost up to date. I am now over 10 years clear, the axe has been lifted from my neck and I can carry on with my life without that particular cloud over me. I now not only work but am able to carry out many different things including teaching Kickboxing which has always been a passion of mine from a very early age. I now have a drive not only to make my life as full as possible but give something back as well to try and help other people with similar issues to me.
 

"I was introduced to the charity SCAT who took time to listen to my plight and generously invested in my future by way of a shiny new Ottobok leg which has opened my life to new possibilities and experiences."
- John

I arrange charity days for SCAT with my local Nuffield Gym in Farnham who have been incredibly supportive. I have also just completed a one million meters challenge on a Concept 2 rower which I completed in 6 months instead of the year that they allow you and I must admit I really need a break from rowing after averaging around 50km a week to complete the challenge in this time.

I have also started sailing at a local center and target shooting at Bisley Camp near Woking in Surrey, which are just a few things that I am involved with. Sometimes it seems that I do much more now than I did when I was able bodied.

What next? - There are a few World records I have my eye on so stay tuned as far as that is concerned and I will carry on finding new and interesting ways to raise money for SCAT along the way.