Graeme Heward was born in Ashby near Scunthorpe in 1961, the second son of a steel works electrical engineer/semi-professional footballer, and a seamstress. Aged three, he had a brief existence in Sydney Australia, returning to Lincoln where he was educated at Branston Secondary Modern School, moving to Manchester in 1983 to pursue a career in physiotherapy. After gaining valuable experience in a large private practice he formed a fledgling practice with an existing work colleague. Much of his work was sport related, going on to provide physio services at many National, British and World Squash Opens. It matched his passion for playing squash which he started in his teens, converting to racketball on losing his eye in 2013. He represented his county at squash and currently plays county and national racketball events. He has two sons, both doctors and two whippets.
In 2010 Graeme noticed watering of his right eye. Months later, following lots of attempts to identify the issue, he was diagnosed with rare sino-nasal cancer. The following thirteen years were a roller coaster existence when he was confronted with fifty plus operations, gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy and death. In 2016 he turned to lifestyle changes to help stay in this world. He completed two mammoth cycling challenges to raise money for cancer charities, including Maggie’s.
Presently Graeme is still working part-time from his home, playing racketball five times a week, loves seeing his boys and their wives who live locally, walks his dogs and enjoys his garden. His lifestyle comprises an anti-cancer diet, limiting stress, lots of exercise and improving his immune system. He has always tried to remain positive despite his roller coaster existence. He’s not quite clinically cancer free but in the best position for thirteen years. He might never admit to himself that he’s beaten ‘The Alien’ until he dies of something else. He wrote this book to help others understand what really happens, to inspire and help raise funds for Maggie’s Centres that has played a positive role in his recovery.
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