Local cancer hero is nominated for two awards

Steven Scupham is local South Leeds hero from Beeston Hill, battling cancer and volunteering to give something back. His bravery has been recognised in two nominations for this year’s Yorkshire Choice Awards and you can help Steven by voting for him.

Steven is nominated in the Volunteer of the Year and the Courage of the Year categories of the Yorkshire Choice Awards.

Steven told us his story:

My name is Steven Scupham, I was born in Edinburgh in 1961 and moved to Leeds in 1995 to continue my work as an NHS Dental Technician. Life changed for me in March 2013, I was feeling some in pain my ribs and I was losing a lot of weight. It came down to an evening at my friend’s when he sent me to A&E to get checked over as I was in a lot of chest pain.

I was tested for various things, but a junior doctor spotted something on the X-rays of my ribs. He made some enquires as he thought he knew what it was. I was transferred by Ambulance to the Leeds Cancer Centre at St James’ not knowing what was coming next. I was then sent for further tests still not knowing what the medical team was looking for.

About two weeks later, a doctor came to see me and said we have been testing you for Myeloma. I had never heard of this and asked what it was. The doctor explained that Myeloma is Blood Cancer.  Myeloma affects your bones, lowers your immunity and you are prone to recurring infections. This came as a complete shock to me and I didn’t know at that stage what the future was going to look like. My treatment started straightaway.

I was working for NHS at the that time as a Senior Dental Technician and had enjoyed many years doing my job. I took time off work to concentrate on the treatment, which was a clinical trial, and in November 2013 I had a Stem Cell Transplant. This was a complete success, but Myeloma is incurable, and so in 2014 I had to make the difficult decision to retire from the NHS after 35 years.

I was still only 52 and I wondered what I was going to do with my free time. I recalled seeing a charity shop in the Bexley Wing while having treatment, it seemed to be always closed. So I thought I would apply to be a volunteer and I started in April 2015.

Steven working in the Leeds Hospitals Charity shop in 2022

This is where my volunteering story began and continued, while facing the prospect of having more cancer treatment. I got almost 6 years remission which surprised a lot of my Haematology Team as they said at that time the chances of survival after 5 years were statistically low.

The cancer returned in 2019 and I faced treatment for the second time, signing up to another clinical trial. I then had my second Stem Cell Transplant which was only a partial success. Yet I was determined that this Myeloma wasn’t going to stop me doing things in life and I continued to volunteer for Leeds Hospitals Charity. I still continue to work in their Bexley Wing shop on a Monday afternoon and do two afternoon shifts in the Merrion Centre shop per week, on Tuesday and Thursday.

Towards the end of 2023, I was told that I needed third line treatment as the cancer was returning. So, I started chemotherapy treatment in January 2024, but I still continued my volunteering roles. Giving back to the medical team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is my way of saying thank you to them for the excellent care I have received since I was diagnosed in 2013.

I was very surprised to find out that I was nominated in the Yorkshire Choice Awards, in two categories: Volunteer of the Year 2024 and Courage of the Year 2024. Sharing my story is the important part about my journey and showing to others that no matter what the challenge is you can rise above all that faces you. Easier said than done, I know, as so many other cancer patients can face really tough challenges during treatment. I shall continue with my positive mental attitude and carry on giving back, that’s what is important to me. I feel very proud of my nominations and this is something that will drive me to carry on!


To find out more about Yorkshire Choice Awards and to vote, go to: www.yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk/votehere. Voting closes on Friday 12 April 2024 and winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 7 June.


Main photo: Steven undergoing treatment in 2019


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3 Replies to “Local cancer hero is nominated for two awards”

    1. Yes, Simon. Humans can be very powerful and intelligent beings, Steven is super human with a heart of a Gentle Angel.

  1. My dearest friend, family friend and ex work colleague , mentor all in one!
    It has took me many years to come with the terms that my best friend has been diagnosed with blood cancer. We go back since 1995 when I was doing my University placement at Leeds Dental Institute. So much to say but I just want to say that life has been so hard and challenging for Steven! I saw the strength in him which was so great that he was and still is an inspiration to me and my family! My parents simply adored Steven and he stayed at my house in Croatia since the year 2000. Steven is loved and respected by everyone my dear Scottish friend has even called my parents a family and this shall stay like this. I regard Steven as my brother since we have shared so much in our lives. Steven is not only a great person but also a great listener and trust me he can ask questions about everything.
    God bless you my dear friend. Keep up with your great efforts in beating this evil disease.

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