Regular gym-goer who thought he’d torn muscle diagnosed with terminal cancer
A regular gym-goer who thought he’d torn a muscle in his back was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Gareth Emmerson, 28, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare form of cancer – when he was only 21-years-old.
The lifelong Liverpool FC fan, originally from Shropshire, enjoyed keeping fit in the gym and believed his pain was a minor injury.
Gareth said: “I was suffering with a bad back after what I thought was a pulled muscle for about three months.
“I was putting a brave young man face on it thinking I’d pulled my back at the gym and that it would sort itself out.
“It just kept getting progressively worse until I couldn’t take the pain any more.”
A trip to see his GP because of the pain the doctor agreed and thought it was a pulled muscle in his lower back which put his mind at rest.
However, the pain got progressively worse and at one point was so bad he went to A&E.
He was given strong pain killers and booked in for an MRI scan the next day.
Further tests followed by more scans revealed that the pain in Gareth’s lower back was in fact a tumour the size of two tennis balls.
He said: “In all honesty when doctors told me it was just a pulled muscle or slipped disc I believed it as well.
“What 21-year-old has a cancer? it’s not the first thing that comes into your mind.
Gareth underwent brain surgery in November to remove the largest tumour and is currently being treated with chemotherapy.
After his diagnosis, he drew up a bucket list of things he wanted to do.
One of his dreams has already been fulfilled when he watched Liverpool FC winning the Premier League in his lifetime.
The pandemic has put travelling to his dream destinations on hold, but this summer as part of the list he plans to marry fiancé Zoe and complete a 1,000 mile cycle trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats while undergoing chemotherapy to raise money for Sarcoma UK.
Gareth said: “The training is hard but it’s going well. I’m currently training around my chemotherapy sessions
“The chemo makes you tired and makes you sick but I think there’s a bigger picture and I’m able to see what I can achieve here.
“The whole reason I’m doing this is to try and shine a light on Sarcoma as compared to other cancers it’s not well funded.
“The front line treatments developed for it are 40-years-old which is shocking really.”