THIS Christmas will be extra special for a man who thought he may not have been here to see it.
Two years ago Richard Preston was diagnosed with a brain tumour and told he could have as little as a year to live.
After undergoing major brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, he and wife Wendy embarked upon a year of living their lives to the full, travelling around the world, determined to make the most of the short time they had left together.
But, following his latest check-up, Mr Preston, from Waterlooville, has been told his tumour has gone – and he now has a longer life expectancy.
He is now well enough to drive again. The 46-year-old said: ‘My latest scan showed my brain was tumour-free and I have been allowed to drive again for the first time since my diagnosis.
‘Although I have a terminal illness and I know that my tumour could come back at some time in the future, for now at least I consider myself temporarily cured.’
At the time of his diagnosis, in 2013, Mr Preston was told he ‘might’ last two years if he was lucky. He added: ‘I am a very happy man and I feel optimistic and glad. I know I will die from this but I’ve got a few years left now – not just a few months.’
Professor Geoff Pilkington, from the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘It has been my privilege to meet Richard on a number of occasions and I am pleased to hear his latest news.
‘His positive outlook and courage are an inspiration to the team, who are determined to improve outcomes for patients like him as we get closer to a cure for brain tumours.
‘Sadly, glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive type of brain tumour.
‘While in some cases treatment can prevent the tumour spreading, unfortunately they remain incurable.’