Seven Parks Walk ambassador Scott Stephens’ life was turned upside down after being diagnosed with cancer three times. After doctors warned him his prognosis was poor, he decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle to help aid his recovery. Today, Scott has beaten the odds, and is happier and healthier than ever.
At the age of 23 Scott had a mole removed from his thigh, which he thought would be nothing to worry about.
“I remember the skin specialist calling me to give me the news. He told me it was melanoma. At such a young age I didn’t believe I could have cancer,” Scott recalls.
Doctors removed the tissue around the mole and luckily he was given the all clear again. But six months later his check-up revealed that the lymph nodes in his groin were enlarged. It was positive for melanoma. Within a week he had already undergone a barrage of tests and surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in his groin. After undergoing immunotherapy treatment for 12 months, he was declared to be in remission, and once again, with a positive attitude, he returned to his normal life.
After nine months of being in remission he proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes. They had a beautiful wedding on the beach and he was ready to start his new life with his wife. But shortly after returning from their honeymoon his regular tests revealed a large mass in his chest.
“After having a biopsy performed, we knew that the melanoma was back. My recovery was slow; I was told I would be out of action for six weeks. It was three months later at my post operative check up that doctors told me the tumor had grown back in my chest and also had new metastasis in my pelvis and bowel. At this point I thought I’d hit rock bottom, after fighting cancer this whole time, and making such a great recovery, I was heartbroken to be back where I started,” Scott says.
“I then emptied the beer and meat out of the fridge, and filled it with organic vegetables. I began to meditate and I purchased a juicer. I felt positive and happy. After three months I was feeling better. I was practicing Qi Gong each morning, meditating for two hours per day, juicing four times a day and walking half an hour each day, as well as eating a wholefood plant based diet, and generally looking after myself.”
The next few months were full of ups and downs, with his next scan showing the tumour in his pelvis had gone.
The doctor was astounded when he looked at the past scans compared to the current ones and saw that it had gone.
“This news gave me more motivation to persevere with my health routine,” Scott says.
Scott has been cancer-free for eight years now, and will take part in the Cancer Council Victoria Seven Parks Walk on Sunday 5th October. Seven Parks Walk is a 27km loop around the inner city of Melbourne, highlighting our magnificent parks.
This year, Melburnians are invited to show their support for Cancer Council Victoria by registering for the Seven Parks Walk. Created by the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA), the event is expected to engage up to 5,000 participants, who are encouraged to walk as much or as little of the 27km closed-loop circuit as they wish.
Seven Parks Walk will not only raise money for a worthy cause, but it is also a fantastic way to see some of Melbourne’s most beautiful parks. Parks along the route include Albert Park, Docklands Park, Flagstaff Gardens, Royal Park, Princes Park, Treasury Gardens and Melbourne & Olympic Parks. At each of the seven parks will be an event village, with select villages providing food, refreshments and entertainment.
Cancer Council Victoria Seven Parks Walk
Sunday 5 October 2014 7.30am – 4.30pm
Various parks around Melbourne
Register online for $30 or on the day for $40
Free for children under 12