Olympic pole vaulter Steven Lewis flies home after learning mum has cancer
ATHLETE Steven Lewis has revealed his mother has cancer – after she battled the serious illness in secret to allow her son to compete in the London Olympics.
Pole vaulter Steven jumped 5.75 metres to finish fifth in the Olympic final unaware of his mum's health problems.
Brave Linda had started to feel ill during the Games and doctors feared she had gallstones.
But tests have now revealed the 57-year-old has tumours in her liver and stomach.
Steven flew home from an athletics meeting in Germany after being told the news.
The 26-year-old, of Light Oaks, who is with dad Martin and 29-year-old brother Simon, said: "We are rallying round and remaining positive. We just believe.
"As a family we have always been competitors, we have always been fighters.
"We've always done things our way and this is a new challenge. We will do everything we can to get through it.
"I was in Frankfurt when I had a call from my dad at midnight. It was the biggest shock of my life.
"But thinking back, despite all her smiling, something wasn't right.
"She said she was fine and didn't want to make a fuss.
"She said she wanted me to enjoy the Olympics. We had friends and family there from all over the world.
"But this is my priority now. I left everything in Germany – my poles, everything."
Former Holden Lane High School pupil Steven is the British record holder after jumping 5.82 metres earlier this year.
He was won silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games.
The Lewis family had been staying at Steven's London flat during the Olympics.
Martin said: "We were at Steven's house and he was at the Olympic village. We were there with his girlfriend, Leah, and all her family.
"Linda just kept her discomfort from us all. At times we could tell that she wasn't very well, but we were doing a lot of walking at the time so we put it down to tiredness.
"She was a little bit quiet but I didn't think much of it.
"The first time she said anything about feeling uncomfortable was on the train home."
Now Linda is expected to start a course of chemotherapy at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
Martin added: "We still can't believe she kept it to herself but that's the way she is.
"We are very positive and we are all sticking together."