A PE teacher who went through gruelling surgery to remove a brain tumour is leading a hike up Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran to celebrate his 'lucky escape'.

Craig Telfer, 27, who works at St Andrew's Academy in Paisley, has inspired 70 friends, family members and work colleagues to join him on Sunday, March 24, on his fundraising challenge for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

The five-hour hike will take them to the top of the island's highest peak which stands at 2,876ft.

In the summer of 2017, Craig was a fit and healthy man, but found himself suffering from a number of headaches.
He was reassured by his GP there was nothing wrong, but on a holiday in Florida in July of that year with his now fiancée Shelley

Neil, Craig experienced a few minutes of slurred speech and struggled to get his words out.

A GP reassured him again everything was okay after blood tests, but in December 2017 Craig then experienced 23 consecutive days of excruciating headaches, which were put down to possible migraines or sinusitis by his GP.

He also had an eye test which confirmed his sight was fine, but he was losing his peripheral vision.

Craig, who is from Ayr, said: “I was lying on the living room floor unable to lift my head because of the pain. I had begged my GP to refer me for a scan, but he said the earliest appointment would be in February. 

"In desperation Shelley and I went to A&E in Ayr for a CT scan which resulted in being taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow by ambulance where I was diagnosed with a grade 1 pilocytic astrocytoma.

“I feel so lucky surgeons at the Queen Elizabeth were able to remove the brain tumour and I am now totally back to full health. I know for so many people diagnosed with brain tumours the survival prognosis is not good. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.

“It’s a great way to celebrate a lucky escape. I am hoping to raise £2,740, the equivalent of one day of research at one of Brain Tumour Research’s Centres of Excellence, as well as raise awareness of brain tumours."

Joe Woollcott, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to Craig and everyone who is taking part in the Goat Fell hike for raising awareness and vital funds for research.

“It is lovely to hear Craig’s story of hope. Far too often we hear from families who have lost loved ones.

“The sad truth is that brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age. Less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers. Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.” 

Historically, just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours and the charity is lobbying the government and the larger cancer charities to increase this.

To donate to Craig’s fundraising page go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/craig-telfer