• James’ Story

An early start

James earned his black belt in karate at the age of 15 and was representing England by the age of 17.

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 as well as the all-styles England squad.

A Tough Journey

At the age of 21 James was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukaemia and underwent 5 months of intensive chemotherapy.

Despite being told it would take 3 to 6 months to recover from the treatment, James immediately returned to university in order to complete his final year. He was also determined to resume his training for the sport he loved and within a few days of returning home began the road to physical recovery.

Back on the international stage

James represented England at the World Karate Championships in Las Vegas, USA.

Although he returned home empty handed, he exceeded all expectations by reaching the quarterfinals and earned his place amongst the karate elite less than six months after finishing treatment.

 

Twists and Turns

James’ journey then took another twist, his leaukaemia relapsed and he needed an urgent stem-cell transplant in order to survive.

Amazingly, his younger sister proved to be a perfect match and would be his donor.

The following months were to be the toughest so far. James underwent further courses of intense chemotherapy followed by Total Body Irradiation, which cause permanent and irreparable damage to the lungs and other respiratory tissues.

Fight of his Life

After almost 300 days spent fighting cancer over a two-year period, James’ illness had robbed him of months of competition just as he was entering his prime.

But James felt he had unfinished business with the sport and so began the long and arduous journey back to peak fitness with a determination to show others what he was capable of, a second time.

 
 

Back in the game

In the 18 months following his transplant, James regained his fitness and resumed full time competition.

He was soon on the international stage again, achieving two bronze medals at the Karate World Cup in Los Angeles, USA. James continues to compete at an international level and his ambition is constant – to be the best at all he does.