By Garth ApThomas
A COURAGEOUS Wrexham man says the support he receives from family and friends has been vital to him in his ongoing battle against a brain tumour.
Wayne Phillips, aged 36 of Caia Park, was diagnosed with the tumour in 2010. He has undergone two operations, radiotherapy and is currently half way through a course of chemotherapy.
On Sunday, 56 hardy hikers took part in a sponsored walk for Wayne and the event is estimated to have raised around £2,000.
“My family and friends mean everything to me and my partner Julie Billington, aged 31, is absolutely my rock. They are all so important, I really can’t thank everyone enough for their kindness,” said Wayne.
“I always try to keep a positive attitude and every day is a blessing. In my battle with this tumour I am on the right road, but I never take anything for granted.”
Speaking at the end of the 13-mile sponsored walk from Wrexham to Llangollen, Wayne surveyed the scene of weary walkers in front of him and said: “From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone who has put in so much hard work. Not just today, but throughout my fight.
“I hope they all realise how much their efforts mean to me. These are such kind and caring people.”
Wayne’s battle against the brain tumour is a story of true grit and determination.
In 2010 he suffered a seizure, completely out of the blue while at home.
“I had an MRI scan at the Maelor and they found a tumour. An operation was arranged for me at the Walton Centre neurology hospital in Liverpool,” said Wayne.
“They were unable to remove all of the tumour but did get 90 per cent of it. The doctors had suspected it was benign and the surgery confirmed that.
“It was a relief that everything had gone so well.”
Doctors continued monitoring Wayne, with scans taking place every six months at Walton.
“In the autumn of 2015 a scan revealed the tumour was starting to grow slowly,” he said.
“Again they closely monitored the situation and I underwent a second operation in July last year. That has been followed up by a course of radiotherapy at Glan Clwyd and I am currently on chemotherapy at Glan Clwyd in tablet form.”
The last scan Wayne had was in December at Glan Clwyd and the medical team were pleased with his progress.
“For me that was a brilliant Christmas present, I was very pleased. It was such good news it even raised a smile from the doctor, which is great to see.”
Sunday’s walk was arranged by Wayne’s friend Carl Lewis, proprietor of Scimitar Martial Arts in Smithy Lane, Wrexham.
Carl said: “We are very pleased at the attendance, there has been an excellent response. I would like to thank everyone who took part, including three dedicated young girls – Ellan Williams, Ella Fuller and Caitlin Ellis.
“We started at 10am from Queen Street with the route including Erddig, Trevor and reaching Llangollen at around 2.30pm. The weather was beautiful, absolutely perfect.
“The sponsorship raised is still coming in, but in total it should amount to around £2,000.”
Wayne said the money will be spent on additional complementary therapy to help him in his fight against the tumour.
Some of the walkers
Carl (left) and Wayne