'The prognosis isn't great... now I'm just trying to inspire' - fitness trainer says cancer shock pushed him to get into the best shape of his life
An inspirational personal trainer has revealed how a terminal cancer diagnosis pushed him to get in the best shape of his life.
Ollie Jowett (22) received the devastating news he had a malignant brain tumour when he was 21, and was given a life expectancy of around five years.
Sharing his journey on social media, he refused to let his illness stop him from achieving his fitness goals.
Through 12 weeks of gruelling workouts, he struggled against fatigue and often debilitating symptoms.
Training for a photoshoot, he shed 10kg in weight to achieve a peak physique.
Speaking to the online fitness company Ultimate Performance, he said: "I've never been in that kind of condition in my life. I've never been 'shredded' with a six-pack. You almost doubt to a degree whether you can even get there."
Ollie moved from his home in Cornwall to Belfast to become a personal trainer, a dream he had held since he was 14.
Within months he received the devastating diagnosis of the brain tumour.
"I was heartbroken, obviously. But it was quite a numb emotion I was feeling," he said.
"I thought: 'What am I meant to do now?' Because you don't prepare yourself for this, certainly not at 21."
Ollie revealed how he had suffered from serious headaches every day from 2016, before an MRI scan in 2017 confirmed the worst.
His age and the location of the tumour means treatment possibilities are limited.
"Surgery isn't really a valid option for me, given where the brain tumour is located. The consultant said it's just too risky, especially given my age," he said.
"The likes of chemotherapy and radiotherapy aren't really options either because it's just so risky and I'm just so young."
Still working as a personal trainer, he shared his story on Instagram. "I put my story out on social media, largely because I wanted to be honest, particularly with my clients," he said.
Along the way he has raised money for charity and helped raise awareness of the reality of living with cancer.
"The prognosis with brain tumours is not great. It's five years. That gives me until I'm 26, so the time is ticking," he said.
"Now I'm just trying to inspire, motivate and inform people."
He said his 12-week transformation, with the help of his trainer Umar was the "hardest process of my life".
"I wanted to give up nearly every single day," he said.
"Trying to find the energy just to train and trying to find the energy just to work is horrendous.
"But despite my health being the problem, it was my health that was my motivation in the first place."
He says his next goal is to compile his experience in a book entitled What Is Your Excuse? How I got Photoshop Lean While Battling Brain Cancer.