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WATCH: Race against time for Highland fuel tanker driver battling brain cancer

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Steven Fry was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2021.
Steven Fry was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2021.

A former fuel tanker driver who crashedinto empty shop premises after a seizure later found to be caused by the presence of a malignant brain tumour has been accepted onto a medical trial that could potentially save his life.

However, his family are now in a race against time to raise substantial fundsto go ahead with the treatment.

Steven Fry (32), from Inverness, crashed his lorry into a building in the centre of Beauly in September 2021 and had to be airlifted to Raigmore Hospital.

It was later confirmed that he had suffered a seizure brought on by the presence of a previously undiagnosed tumour.

When talking about the day he was diagnosed, Steven said: "I was upset, but I lived.

"The procedure I had left me disabled completely and that was worse. I just wanted to be out of the hospital.

"I was out within three months, which was very fast for me, but not being able to drive my buses or lorries has been quite a drastic change for me."

The fuel tanker crash in Beauly in September 2021.
The fuel tanker crash in Beauly in September 2021.

He continued: "I rejected chemotherapy in the first place, but my wife and daughter wanted me to go, so that I would live longer.

"If I had gone with radiotherapy I would have been given seven years left to live, but chemotherapy has given me a minimum of 14 years.

"It's been so good having the support from my wife and her family, they keep me going."

Steven had been suffering a range of symptoms for almost 18 months prior to the accident in Beauly, including headaches, numbness on the right side of his body and a strange aluminium taste in his mouth, and was actually booked in for an MRI scan.

Steven's wife Chloe (29) said: "In hindsight, now that we know about the tumour, everything that he was experiencing was on the cards to look out for with a brain tumour, so it is annoying but I think it's something you don't know until it happens to you and now it seems so obvious."

Chloe's unconditional love and support for Steven throughout this challenging time has been 'amazing'.

Steven said with a smile: "From the very beginning she would cook meals for me and take them to the hospital.

"Even when she was pregnant with our little girl Piper, during 2021 when the crash happened, she still pushed me around in a wheelchair and continues to support me so much.

"To have a wife like her is beyond good."

Sadly, the family's struggles are not over yet as Steven was diagnosed with brain cancer last year. Distraught by this news, the family launched a crowdfunding appeal in a bid to raise £50,000 for potentially life-saving treatment not yet available on the NHS.

Since the fundraiser launched in November, the family have raised just under £10,000 and Steven has been accepted onto a UK-based medical trial.

Steven said: "It makes me feel ecstatic that people that don't even know me have donated for my treatment.

"Some people have said in the comments that they had lost a loved one because of brain cancer, so it's nice that people are trying to help me, even though they're going through a lot themselves."

Chloe added: "I feel like it's a lifeline, I'm trying not to pin all my hopes on it but I really believe it will give him a better outcome than the 14 years average that chemotherapy and radiotherapy is said to give him.

"I just want him around so we can be a family as long as possible and that's what I'm praying this immunotherapy treatment can do for us."

The couple are now expecting their second child, which will sadly be the last child Steven will be able to have due to his chemotherapy, however he is 'so happy' to be a father, and his family 'keeps him going'.

Steven Fry holding a picture of his baby.
Steven Fry holding a picture of his baby.

When talking about their baby, Chloe said: "When we found out Steven had to get chemotherapy, he was told it could impact his fertility and he might never be able to have kids again.

"We were devastated as we always wanted two and the thought of that opportunity being taken away from us, as well as everything else going on, was heartbreaking.

"We decided to try before he started chemotherapy and we were so, so lucky to find out we were pregnant a month before he started his first session.

"We are so grateful for this little blessing and can't wait to complete our family."

To go ahead with the proposed cancer treatment, Steven and his family need to raise another £40,000, to which Steven said: "My wish now is to see my wife and kids for longer and this treatment could give that to me."

Find out more and donate here.

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