When football fan Craig Nettleship went to the doctor complaining of strange noises he had no idea that it was caused by a giant tumour – a quarter of the size of his brain.
The 29-year-old has had two operations and undergone gruelling radiotherapy at Sheffield hospitals since the cancerous tumour was diagnosed almost a year ago.
The Sheffield Wednesday fan is today holding a 24-hour football match to boost Weston Park Hospital, where he had the radiotherapy.
Craig, of Hoyland, Barnsley, said: “I had tinnitus and I got a strange sound in my ear, so my local GP referred me to a specialist who said I could have an MRI scan or he could look behind my nose - I thought an MRI was the best of the two options.
“It was a massive shock to find out I had a brain tumour, I got a phone call the day after to say that they had found an abnormality and I needed to go to the hospital.
“I’d had no idea this tumour was there, I’d had virtually no symptoms at all.”
Craig had urgent surgery to remove part of the tumour – but then had to make the decision on whether to have a second, riskier, operation as well.
He said: “I was going to be put on a course of radiotherapy but an image of the tumour showed it was still quite large because it had been about a quarter of the size of my brain.
“I decided to have another operation to remove more of it because I thought the radiotherapy has got a better change of working if it is smaller.
“The second operation had quite severe risks – the potential side effects included a potential stroke, maybe needing to be in full time care but because of how big it was I decided to go for it.
“I was extremely relieved to wake up afterwards the operation and phone my wife so she was aware that I was okay.
“When I went up to the ward I just decided to do something for charity, and as soon as I was back up and running I wanted to do something sport related.”
Fraud investigator Craig is now back at work in Sheffield and must have check up scans every three months to monitor the tumour, which he will have to live with for the rest of his life .
He and several pals are staging their 24-hour five-a-side football match challenge at the Concord Leisure Centre in Shiregreen from 5pm today, Friday June 26.
An auction is also planned to take place to help boost the cause.
Hundreds of pounds has already been raised to boost the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
Craig said: “The care that I received has been amazing _ I am very proud to support the charity.”
n Visit www.justgiving.com/Craig-Nettleship to donate to the cause.