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Man launches GoFundMe to help take him to the Paralympics after cancer diagnosis

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Man launches GoFundMe to help take him to the Paralympics after cancer diagnosis

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A Thurlestone man who was diagnosed with cancer and was left with severe mobility issues is now on the way to the Paralympics. 

Jack Howitt noticed strange symptoms in his last year of school and after a long road, multiple medical tests, different answers from different doctors and brain surgery, he was eventually diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme IDH wildtype.

Jack with then-girlfriend Eloise Wright

Jack was told this form of cancer had a 99 percent mortality rate with a life expectancy from diagnosis of 12-18 months. 

He said: "I was put on a treatment plan of intense radiotherapy followed by intense chemotherapy. To make matters worse, we would be going into hospital every day- bar Christmas day. Then i had to take chemotherapy in tablet form on top of epilepsy meds and steroids.

"I was taking about 30 pills a day. I was told to come off the steroids which was fine, until i went to sleep, then woke up with a headache that felt like I was stood on an earthquake and getting washing-machined out of a tsunami.

"It felt like little explosions going off in my head with no stop insight, needless to say I went back on the steroids for a bit."

Jack's scar from brain surgery 

Jack continued: "I came off chemo in august. This was an oral tablet on 5 day on, 23 days off, cycle. I took these from about January 2020- August 2020. It was a cakewalk apart from the extreme fatigue, hair loss and sore tongue…
"Fast forward to 2020 December, we were all happy that we were all here still to see another Christmas. However, the world was going to change for everyone this time. Going into lockdown, steroids and food do not go well together… I was 11/12 stone and then I was 15/16 stone."

Jack put on weight over lockdown

"So I got myself a recumbent bike and I cycled, sometimes for three hours, and glad to say I'm back to 11 stone once again. I had really started to get back into my fitness.

"For context about my weight, I played rugby religiously when I was at school. To get to a professional level, I was told I needed to put more weight on. I could not put any weight on for three years, so for me to gain four-ish stone was crazy…"

After getting back into fitness, and "all my MRI scans were clear so why not?", Jack joined Willpower Fitness crossfit gym and he said it "changed my life".

Jack continued: "From barely being able to lift a weight, I have just made a personal best of 135kg deadlift!
"My coach Will Woods and many others in the gym made me feel so welcome. They all made me feel like it was okay to fail, and thats what life is: failing over and over again until you succeed.

"I have since gained another coach Ben Wadham and at his gym/box PANTHEON, he’s been helping me with my running and cycling specifically."

This is what has led Jack to his new goal - competing at the France 2024 Paralympics in the paratriathlon - and he is now looking for donations to help that dream become a reality.

Jack taking part in a trial to the GBR Academy

Jack said: "This requires significant funds which is why the £30,000 goal is so high. I am going to compete at least four times next year in the super series, specifically for para-athletes."

The money he raises will be used to exclusively fund 1-2-1 sessions in the pool, a specialist triathlon bike, orthotics for running and cycling, other equipment, memberships for triathlon app, transport and competition entry fees.  

Jack added: "I appreciate it a lot of money so any donation big or small is appreciated. But I do hope that reading will help you to understand and accept someone else’s difficulties."

You can read Jack's full story (and it is worth a read) on his GoFundMe page, where you can donate if you would like to: and you can follow him and his journey to France 2024 on his Instagram: 

Good luck Jack! 

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