Originally planning to go into ski instruction for a year before coming home into a sales role after graduation, 25 year-old former Business student Jordan Toms was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumour while in his final year of study at BU in 2015.
Diagnosed with oligodendroglioma, a rare cancer affecting only three in 100 of all brain tumour patients, Jordan studied all the way up to an operation which removed 90 per cent of his tumour, leaving him with diminished strength in his left hand side and a lengthy recovery period.As part of his complex rehabilitation, Jordan also had to learn to walk again, how to hold a fork, and began training at the gym every day. Together with brothers Callum and Adam, Jordan formed the company ‘Resolute’, which is donating 20 per cent of all its profits to cancer charities Macmillan and The Brain Tumour Charity.
Jordan said: “The year after my diagnosis is a blur. I think in the early stage you are in survival mode just reacting and taking each step as it comes. My diagnosis was obviously a big blow to me and my family, as it is to anyone. We have lost family and friends to cancer but we are a solid unit and we were really well equipped to take this on right from day one.
“I’ve always been a driven person and I think my treatment and recovery made me even more goal-focussed because I wanted to just get back to normal. A turning point for me was when my Oncologist said: “We aren’t going to cure you, we’re here to prolong your lifespan”, which made me just want to prove him wrong and get cured. I know I can’t just let doctors and nurses work hard. I need to work at it too.
Jordan’s experience of meeting others who have been through terrible illnesses and disabilities has been a humbling insight for him: “I was sulking after my operation because I struggled to move my arm, struggled to talk and walk. Then I met the guy in the room opposite me, he had become paralysed from the waist down due to a cycling accident. He was laughing, making jokes and wasn’t sulking at all. I felt so humiliated in the way I was behaving, so I chose to smile more, make some slurred jokes and stop sulking in bed. For me, that guy made me realise, you just have to get on with it.”
The business then grew from a mixture of crowdfunding over social media and pulling in favours from close friends, most of which had in some way been affected by cancer.Sarah Lindsell, CEO of The Brain Cancer Charity, said: “The story of the founding of Resolute is so inspirational. Jordan’s brain tumour diagnosis and subsequent treatment and aftercare, galvanised the long-held business idea for him.
“For them to be part of our nationwide strategy to raise vital funds for research into finding a cure is truly humbling. Resolute is about cool products, a genius brand, and a tale of friendship in the darkest of times.
“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK and it’s only through amazing efforts like those behind Resolute, that we can make a difference to everyone affected by this devastating disease. We will change this shocking statistic.”