Belfast Telegraph

Belfast trainer (21) vows to fight brain tumour which has turned his life into 'ticking time bomb' - but he wants your help

By Claire Williamson

A brave 21-year-old man has vowed to fight a brain tumour which has essentially turned his life into a "ticking time bomb" - but he wants your help.

Ollie Jowett originally from Cornwall but now living in Belfast was diagnosed with a Grade II brain tumour on the front right lobe of his brain.

He has been in the fitness industry for six years and is now a personal trainer at Gym Co Finaghy.

He said the best analogy he has to describe the tumour is through an apple.

"So when you drop an apple, its flesh begins to bruise and there is nothing worse than a bruised apple, right?

"With time, this bruise gets blacker and blacker, spreading wider and deeper until the Apples insides has eventually rotted and turns black inside. This essentially means that my life has become a ticking time bomb. I don't know when the tumour will grow bigger.

"That's the best way to describe the brain tumour I have and slowly with time it will get worse unfortunately", he said.

Ahead of his diagnosis he had been suffering chronic headaches - which was what prompted him to go to the doctors and after some persistence he received the diagnosis.

"It was a case of I went to the doctors four times and the initial times the GP assumed it was a tension headache," he said.

"But in my gut I knew it was something deeper and underlying.

"They referred me for an MRI scan in which they found the abnormality which transpired into the tumour itself."

Since his diagnosis he has been experiencing chronic headaches on a daily basis, nausea, feeling of weakness and breathlessness when going up the stairs.

But despite the shock and upset of when he found out - he has vowed to maintain his unrelenting positivity.

He said: "It's a bit of a shock, especially at such a young age. However I'm a very, very positive person and obviously working with my clients in the gym, it's a case of trying to change their mindset to be more positive and more proactive.

"My base is very proactive so immediately I flipped this diagnosis into a proactive situation and thought what can I do, my belief is if you are not being positive you are being negative and why be negative?

In terms of treatment there are a number of options but given his young age Ollie is currently on a "watch and wait" system.

"It's the safest option for me," he said.

"The other options include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

"With all three there are many complications. The biggest concern for my neurosurgeon was, she said at such a young age, ten years down the line there will be complications if you put radiation into your brain or even with surgery there is such a big probability of something going wrong.

"I had to make a decision and right now in the present the safest thing is just watch and wait. Every three to six months I'll get MRI scans done and the moment they detect a change in behaviour or size then they will intervene with surgery."

Ollie wants you to help him beat the tumour by raising as much money as possible for The Brain Tumour Charity.

He is holding a massive charity workout to do so at The Devenish Complex.

The event will take place at the Devenish Grandball Room on Saturday November 25 at 10am.

Tickets are available at and cost £10 and also at both GymCo sites in Finaghy and Cityside.

 You can also donate to Ollie's JustGiving page here

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph