A Melton cancer patient who has survived after being given just six months to live in 2015 is preparing to take on a 78-mile charity cycle ride.
Rob Steele (46), of Tudor Hill, was originally given the all-clear after the removal of a cancerous mole nine years ago.
But that transformed into a brain tumour 18 months ago leading to that devastating prognosis from his surgeon.
He has since benefited from immunotherapy, which targets the cancer cells, and feels well enough to take his cycling challenge in April.
Rob said: ““I was given six months to live but I am still here and battling to beat it.
“I thought it was all over when I got that prognosis but something changed in me and I was determined not to let it beat me.”
He added: “It has been the hardest and, sometimes, darkest days but with my gorgeous loving wife Malveena and wanting to be with her I have had the determination and strength to carry on.”
Rob’s almost decade-long battle with cancer begab when he discovered a mole in his neck in 2008. It grew and started itching and bleeding, which led him to have surgery to remove it.
Seven years later, he woke up one summer’s morning and suffered what turned out to be a stroke, paralysing the right side of his body and leaving him unable to talk or function.
Doctors at Leicester Royal Infirmary found the brain tumour after a CT scan and further tumours were also detected in his liver and lungs.
The immunotherapy has helped Rob live much longer than he thought he would.
“You don’t really get used to it, he said. “You live three months at a time until the next check up.”
He remains positive, though, and is confident he will complete his cycle challenge, when he joins the field for the CiCLE Tour from Rutland Water to Melton.
Buying his road bike has given him extra motivation to beat his disease.
“I’m still on medication - I have good days and bad days,” Rob added. “I can cycle for two hour at the moment so I only have to add another two hours on to that.”
Go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Melanomafunds to sponsor him for Melanoma UK.