A year later he was attending his first World Karate Confederation Championships, where he would reach the last 16. Since then he has been a member of the Federation of Shotokan Karate England squad and has competed with the all-styles England squad.
Determined to resume training for the sport he loved, James began the road to physical recovery as soon as he achieved remission. Within a few days of returning home he was back in the gym and immediately returned to university to complete his final year of studies. He did all this, despite being advised it would take three-to-six months to recover from treatment.
Although he returned home empty handed, he beat elite opposition to reach the quarter-finals of a major international event, exceeding both medical and sporting expectations alike.
Amazingly, his younger sister proved to be a perfect match donor and would save his life. But the transplant regimen was brutal.
James underwent four months of his most intense chemotherapy yet, followed by several rounds of Total Body Irradiation – the strongest form of radiotherapy possible – causing permanent and irreparable damage to the lungs and other respiratory tissues.
But James ignored medical advice and professional opinion, refusing to let the illness rob him of a sporting career in his physical prime. Determined to defy the odds for a second time and show the world what was possible, he began the long and arduous journey back to peak physical fitness and elite level competition.
With achievements already above and beyond what was either expected of him or thought possible by doctors, James was only just getting started. Fighting on the international stage, he would go on to win two World bronze medals, a UK Open silver medal and multiple national honours. James continues to compete at the highest level in spite of insurmountable odds and his ambition is constant – to inspire others for years to come and leave a lasting legacy for cancer survivorship.