Like many in their thirties, Simon Barlow-Smyth was enjoying socialising and planning his future.
But his hopes were suddenly ‘derailed’ when Simon, from Stoneclough, received the devastating diagnosis that he has an inoperable brain tumour.
Now 37, he received the diagnosis in 2016 after falling after finishing a workout.
The business analyst underwent surgery three times, one which included removing part of his skull.
And the tumour was said to be at a ‘satisfactory’ 30 per cent in 2018. He had even rung the bell to celebrate the treatment had been a success.
But just over a month ago, Simon received the upsetting news that the tumour is growing with the cancer being categorised as stage four.
The effect of the condition has left him wheelchair bound.
He told The Bolton News: “In the seven weeks since receiving my devastating news my mobility and motor skills have continued to gradually decline further and I’ve had two quite nasty falls at home.
(Shay and Simon Barlow-Smyth)
“Going up and down the stairs in particular for me has become quite the terrifying ordeal as I’m so concerned about falling and being seriously injured.”
In January of this year, Simon noticed loss of power on the left side of his body, making it almost impossible for him to walk, stand up, go downstairs, or even dress himself.
Simon said: “It’s prevented me from just doing simple things I already enjoyed – mainly getting to socialise with friends as I feel it all changed me mentally and certainly in terms of confidence to just get out and about as I’ve had chronic pain, disequilibrium and balance issues since 2016 – all now substantially worse still.
“I was readying myself for a career move right about the time my tumour diagnosis derailed my life in 2016.”
Now the family are fundraising for a stairlift and a wet room to help him with basic tasks.
Simon Barlow-Smyth with goddaughter Grace Greenwood and mum Debra Barlow
His mum, Debra Barlow, said: “It’s your child isn’t it? And you just want to take it all away.
“It’s unbelievable and I try and do as much as I can for brain tumour research now, to raise awareness and funds for it.
“As a mum you are on a roller-coaster ride when something like this is happening to your son. But Simon is always so positive, that when I’m in the hospital with him I just think I have to stay strong for him.”
Debra said: “He can’t really use the bathroom well or the stairs.
“We spoke to the council but there’s a waiting list before anyone even comes out to look at it and there is a two-month backlog.
“Then it’s another 18-month wait to do it and we just want to help him.”
Simon now lives in Fallowfield with his husband, Shay Barlow-Smyth to be nearer to the Christie Hospital, while mum Debra still lives in Stoneclough.
To support the family visit Go Fund Me page here. (https://www.gofundme.com/f/simon-w-barlow-smyth)