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STEVE'S CHOICE: Go blind or die

In eight months, Steve will lose his sight when a brain tumour near his optical nerve is removed

by Susanna Freymark, 04/29/2021, 2 min read



DEATH or blindness. It's not a choice anyone would want.
But it may be Steve Sun's only option.
He'll find out after his next brain tumour scan in June.
After that, he faces the reality of doctors operating on his tumour – an operation that will leave him blind.
If they don’t operate, he is likely to die.


“I’m shit scared,” Steve said at his home in Casino.


The lesion on Steve’s brain has mostly lain dormant since 2010 but its growth now
represents a threat. After his next brain scan, he’ll have a clearer picture of how fast the lesion is growing.
Doctors predict he has about eight months before the tumour must be removed.
“The operation will cut across the optical nerve,” Steve said.
“I’m going to lose my vision when they operate.”
Before that happens, he wants to see his three grandchildren and family as much as possible to memorise the detail in their faces.
He plans to visit the Top End and maybe catch a fish off the tip of Cape York.
Steve has eight months to see the world before he goes blind.
In preparation for the outcome, Steve has two new driving instructors to assist with his business, Casino Driving School, which has been going for 17 years and
Sometimes at home when the house is dark, he practises ‘being blind’ and works out ways to move around the house.
He has already investigated the technology that comes with the latest white canes.
It will be a new phase in my life, he said.


“It won’t change who I am.”


Steve is determined throughout all this to “live for the here and now”.
“Knowing it’s not a death wish helps and I know I’ll get a lot of support,” he said.
Steve has lived in Casino for more than eight years.
What he needs is sponsorship and ways to fundraise so he can buy a 4WD and head to the Top End to see the natural beauty of the Australian landscape and sear it into his memory.
“I’d like to be on the road by July,” he said.

“I’m on borrowed time.”
LIVE FOR THE MOMENT: Steve Sun will hand over his driving instruction business so‌‌he can travel the Top End before he has a brain operation that will cause him to lose his‌‌sight. Photo: Susanna Freymark