Dave Bolton survived the world’s deadliest brain cancer and founded a pioneering charity to give all cancer patients access to physical, mental and financial rehabilitation.
When Dave Bolton was diagnosed with an incurable stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in July 2015, he was given three to eight months to live. He had previously had treatment for a different type of tumour a year earlier.
Doctors advised him to put his affairs in order. But the former world kickboxing champion, who’d previously overcome a life-changing motorcycle accident, said: “I wasn’t going to sit on my couch, waiting to die.”
Dave, 42, endured two major brain surgeries and months of aggressive chemo and radiotherapy, while suffering with seizures. He also lost his mum to cancer during this time, his wife had a miscarriage and he had to retire from his much loved career in the police force.
Instead of feeling helpless, Dave focused on what lifestyle steps he could take to improve his chances, such as diet and exercise. His positivity was rewarded when scans showed the once tennis ball-sized tumour had shrunk. He is now in the top two per cent of survivors of this cancer, having lived with terminal cancer for nine years.
Dave hasn’t stopped there, however. The dad-of-two joined forces with former Liverpool footballer Dominic Matteo to found Ahead of the Game Foundation two years ago, in order to boost the quality of life of anyone with a post-cancer diagnosis.
The Wirral-based charity provides bespoke rehabilitation programmes, including free yoga, Pilates, guided walks and financial support.
The air force veteran is now a fully trained cancer rehabilitation specialist coach, and provides inspiration and practical services to others embarking on the same frightening journey. He wants his story to give others hope and says: “I’m actually thankful for my situation. It’s like looking at life through new eyes. I want to use my story to inspire people to hold on to hope.””
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