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'I dream of running again' - footballer with brain tumour defies doctors to walk again

PUBLISHED: 16:39 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 July 2019

Former Diss footballer David Bloomfield who was told he would never walk again after a brain tumour but who has defied doctors. Picture: Anthony Kelly

Former Diss footballer David Bloomfield who was told he would never walk again after a brain tumour but who has defied doctors. Picture: Anthony Kelly

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A former footballer told he would never walk again after a brain tumour has defied doctors by taking unaided steps and is now dreaming of one day running again.

David Bloomfield with his wife Toni, daughters Coco and Kiki and son East. Picture: David BloomfieldDavid Bloomfield with his wife Toni, daughters Coco and Kiki and son East. Picture: David Bloomfield

David Bloomfield, 37, played midfield for Diss Town Football Club and was a business development manager for Santander bank when his world was turned upside down.

In November 2013 he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour after suffering from headaches and blackouts.

Whilst a 12-hour operation at Addenbrooke's Hospital to remove the tumour saved his life, it affected his ability to talk coherently and walk unaided.

David Bloomfield undergoing his specialist training overseen by Jack Malcolm at Bannatyne Norwich West. Picture: Jamie GarbuttDavid Bloomfield undergoing his specialist training overseen by Jack Malcolm at Bannatyne Norwich West. Picture: Jamie Garbutt

At the time of his diagnosis, aged 32, he had been the father of two young children, an avid gym-goer and ran five miles a day but after a further course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he was told by doctors he would never walk again.

Against the odds and doctors' predictions, Mr Bloomfield, who grew up in Diss but now lives in Norwich with his wife Toni, 37, daughters Coco, seven, and Kiki, five, and son East, two, determinedly battled on and is now walking again unaided.

"I was very determined, as he was talking I remember thinking 'I'll prove you wrong!'" he recalls of the moment he was told he received the prognosis.

David Bloomfield (bottom row, second from right) was a midfielder with Diss Town FC before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Picture: David BloomfieldDavid Bloomfield (bottom row, second from right) was a midfielder with Diss Town FC before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Picture: David Bloomfield

The years since have been a determined struggle to get back on his feet including a special programme at a Norwich gym.

"I'd like to give a special mention to Elliott Roe at Bannatyne Norwich West, who has helped me immensely," said Mr Bloomfield.

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"Through his guidance I have been able to walk a few steps unaided, proving the professional experts wrong.

"I'm looking forward to conquering my new goal that I've set myself, to be able to run again, and I'm also focusing on supporting others in similar situations through The David Bloomfield Foundation."

Mr Roe said: "David has worked incredibly hard and the proof is in the progress he has made. Despite what health professionals told him, he has persevered and managed to take a couple of unaided steps which is remarkable."

David Bloomfield credits his family for givving him the strength and encouragement, including children Coco, Kiki and son East, born after his diagnosis. Picture: David BloomfieldDavid Bloomfield credits his family for givving him the strength and encouragement, including children Coco, Kiki and son East, born after his diagnosis. Picture: David Bloomfield

Mr Bloomfield said: "The years have been very tough mentally and physically but I've got a good support network of positive people around me.

"It must have been so hard for everyone, especially Toni and my mum and dad."

David Bloomfield as a football mad youngster growing up in Diss. Picture: David BloomfieldDavid Bloomfield as a football mad youngster growing up in Diss. Picture: David Bloomfield

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