Oliver Highway was diagnosed with a Grade 4 brain tumour in 2012. Since then he has had surgery and 53 sessions of chemotherapy which he will continue to have every 5 weeks for the rest of his life to try and prevent the brain tumour from growing.
Oliver lives with his wife Sharon and their 12 year old son Elliot. Oliver and Elliot are huge rugby fans and were thrilled to meet their hero Lewis Moody at one of The Lewis Moody Foundation Family Days last year. Since then, Oliver has gone on to be a tremendous Ambassador for The Foundation and recently attended the headwest launch to let the team taking on the challenge know what a difference their fundraising an make to others.
This is Oliver’s story:
“It was great to be at the launch of The Lewis Moody Foundations headwest Challenge at Twickenham, talking to both those taking on this immense challenge and meeting the partners to the challenge at Y.CO. I am proud to volunteer my time to supporting The Lewis Moody Foundation and have particularly enjoyed being part of the headwest challenge as I know that every penny of the money being raised will help to reduce further the brain tumour diagnosis time for children and young adults through the lifesaving HeadSmart campaign. Together we are all striving to do this to increase the options for effective treatment and hopefully the very best possible outcomes for those diagnosed in the future. I know the team have an incredible £75,000 target and I would like to wish them all the very best of luck and to enjoy what looks like a great challenge! And when it gets tough out there remember my mantra; Look Forward, Be Positive and Keep Smiling
In addition, The Foundation supports family days for those diagnosed with a brain tumour and their family. Having been lucky enough to take part in one of these with my family, I know what a positive experience these are and the special memories that my son Elliot and I took away from this.
I'm now going to take you back to when I had just had my 39th birthday. I was enjoying life at home and the outdoor space just north of the Cotswolds with my wife Sharon and our 7 year old son Elliot. I always loved sport at school, especially hockey, and find joy in watching rugby and supporting Leicester Tigers. I am not an expert cook (Sharon and Elliot can vouch for that) but enjoy it! After a few different jobs and not really knowing which path to follow I was lucky enough to join National Grid, which I loved and particularly liked managing a team. In fact it was at a works do 20 years ago when I first met Sharon at Hall Grean Dog Track in Birmingham. Who says the first date needs to be somewhere special!
In 2012 things began to change. I started to forget people's names at work, it was taking me longer to write an email and then I started to have the worst headaches I'd ever had. I saw many people at our local medical center with consistent views that a sinus infection and/or stress was the likely cause. After several weeks I had an MRI scan which immediately confirmed the cause - it was a brain tumour. After immediate surgery we were told I had a Primary Grade 4 Glioblastoma multiform. A massive change for us all.
With support from so many people over the last 5.5 years I have been able to think more and more of how fortunate I am. The cancer has been diagnosed and there was an option for surgery to remove as much of it as possible. I have cognitive affects around remembering words which I can adjust to. I have been told that I will have chemotherapy every 5 weeks for life to help prevent the tumour growing which I am responding well to. I also retired from work who continued to be so supportive.
Therefore, I focus on there being only one option for me to follow which makes it easier to front up both physically and mentally to the tumour and chemo head on. Also, although often greatly fatigued from the cycles of chemo I can still have quality time with my family and support The Lewis Moody Foundation in the best way I can. What more could I ask for considering the big change in our life. I remember as often as I can, Look Forward, Be Positive and Keep Smiling which really does help."