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By Mark Davey
Goatfell should be a stroll in the park for a Paisley physical education teacher raising funds for Brain Tumor Research.
Already Craig Telfer, 27, who teaches at St Andrews Academy, has tripled his Justgiving target of £1,000 and as the Banner went to press had raised more than £3,245 from 127 donations.
News of the brain tumour survivor’s challenge has spread from the Ayr Advertiser and after featuring in the Daily Record, on Tuesday, he hopes a large crowd will join his ascent on Sunday morning.
Craig said: ‘I am trying to get as many friends, family, colleagues and more to join me on a hike up Arran’s Goat Fell on Sunday.
‘We are meeting at 9am meet for the 9.45am ferry at Ardrossan.’
Many of Craig’s friends know his miraculous story of how a persistent headache turned out to be a life threatening tumour.
Craig added: ‘A bit more than a year ago, on January 3 2018 I underwent brain surgery to have a brain tumour and cyst removed.
‘It all began on December 6 2017 when I started to have continuous headaches everyday.
‘After 14 consecutive days of headaches I went to the GP and over the next week or so tried various pills that treated suspected migraines, cluster headaches and sinusitis but with no avail.
‘One GP said: ‘Look don’t worry you are a young fit and healthy guy you won’t have a brain tumour.’
‘On December 29, more than three weeks after the symptoms first appeared, and at the stage where I could barely get out of bed and was being physically sick with the pain I was sent to accident and emergency in Ayr for a CT scan.
‘I was diagnosed with a brain tumour that had a cyst attached.’
Craig, who teaches in a school with 1,500 pupils, was amazed because he hardly drinks and does not smoke in addition to being very fit
He added: ‘An ambulance took me straight to the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow and I was monitored for four days until I underwent the five and a half hour surgery.’
After leaving hospital Craig was off work for six months. A physiotherapist had to teach him to walk again, how to cut up his food and relearn many motor skills, such as opening bottles.
‘A year on, having made a full recovery and back to full health, I am raising money for Brain Tumour Research.
‘I am one of the lucky ones whose tumour was diagnosed and could be removed with no further surgery or chemotherapy.
‘It’s frightening to think that brain tumours are a bigger killer of children and adults, under the age of 40, than any other cancer.
‘My aim is to raise the awareness of brain tumours and raise funds for further research.
‘It would be great if as many people as possible could come along and join us on the hike and all donations to the cause will be appreciated.’
‘Yesterday an S2 pupil at school told me he had read my story on the Justgiving page,’ Craig added, ‘He said: ‘You are a proper role model.’
Craig Telfer leaves hospital with his fiancee Shelley Neil. NO_B12craig02_car
Craig Telfer in hospital after his neurosurgery. NO_B12craig01_hospital
The neurosurgery incision was stapled together. NO_B12craig04_scar
Craig Telfer with his parents and brother. NO_B12craig03_family