Steve Culshaw had a dream. He wanted to make alternative therapies available to those who would not usually be able to afford it. Two years later, he has realised his ambition with a vital community service on its own premises.
Reporter JESSICA SHAUGHNESSY talks to Steve about Well Blacon and how he is using his own healing powers to fight his brain tumour.
When doctors told Steve Culshaw he needed chemotherapy to treat his brain tumour, he decided to go it alone.
Radiotherapy had no effect except to damage his short-term memory, so he called on his own healing powers.
Steve says that, amazingly, since rejecting conventional treatment, his tumour has shrunk.
He has not proclaimed a miracle or announced it from the rooftops, but he always had confidence in the force of alternative therapies.
'I am very positive about my condition,' he said. 'Doctors told me that mine is the kind of cancer that doesn't really go away. If they got rid of it, it may come back with a vengeance. I decided not to have any chemo, because I didn't want to do any more damage to my memory.
'I meditate, have Reiki therapy and use homeopathic medicines. I have had scans which have shown the tumour has shrunk and my doctors are very, very pleased. I am not saying that people should give up on conventional medicine, that would be irresponsible, but this is right for me.'
Steve continued: 'When I am in pain, I meditate and I can detach from it. I am very optimistic. I believe there is more than this life; we are all here to learn a lesson and this is mine.
'My diagnosis came as no surprise to me, I had dreamt it.' Steve was diagnosed at about the same time he took the first steps towards setting up Well Blacon, an alternative therapies service which has just opened its new base in Plas Dinas. Run by volunteers, it is for people who would not usually be able to afford the treatments on offer.
Steve said he dreamt about Well Blacon too. 'It was about complementary therapies being open to everybody; it would solve a lot of problems and change society for the better. I always knew it would happen. That dream has been received by a lot of therapists across the land.'
Originally from Altrincham, Steve, 51, has two children Lee, 31, a policeman in Coventry and Satasha, 14, an Upton High School pupil, and lives on Fowler Road with his partner Erika Tetley.
He was in the Army for 24 years before he was discharged in 1993 because of ill health.
Before he left, Steve says he had his first aromatherapy session and had an out-of-body experience.
He said: 'It was amazing and I had never felt so at peace. I had a great time in the Army, but it was completely different to the life that I lead now.
'When I left, the Army paid for my resettlement and I took an aromatherapy course. It all started from there.'
Steve then took the Reiki one and two qualifications before going on to become a Reiki master. At first, he went round nursing homes administering treatments and lectured in spiritual philosophy at Yale College, Wrexham.
In 2002, Steve held Well Blacon's first taster session at Blacon Community Centre, Church Way using a grant of £1,000 from Community Champions to buy equipment. 'I didn't know what to expect, but more than 70 people came,' said Steve.
Weekly sessions were held at the Norris Road Church centre with about a dozen people attending.
Well Blacon really took off when it moved to Melbourne Church and attracted more than 40 people each week.
Steve originally invited other therapists to join him, but soon clients asked to get involved and after going on courses themselves, the team grew.
'I knew that Well Blacon was providing a valuable service,' said Steve. 'All we needed was our own place so we could operate throughout the week and reach more people.'
His prayers were answered when Blacon's neighbourhood manager went to see him.
Steve said: 'He said Pathfinder had room in their new premises in Plas Dinas. It had been earmarked for something else, but he asked if we would like it.
'With another volunteer, I went to a meeting with Chester and District Housing Trust. We thought we would have to do a presentation and make our case, but the architects were already there.
'They just said 'tell us what you want' and began drawing plans there and then. We walked out in disbelief, we couldn't believe what had just happened.'
Complete with four treatment rooms, an aromatherapy room and an Indian head massage room and painted to Steve's specifications, Well Blacon's new base opened for business earlier this month.
Steve says he is now content. 'I really feel like this is making a difference. These therapies help various conditions, stress and self-esteem problems. These are all problems caused by the western society, governments and cultures.
'I became more spiritually aware when I was travelling, particularly when I went to India.
'The people there have next to nothing, yet they are all happy and peaceful.
'Here everybody is discontented. Reiki and meditation help you to find your inner-self and be at peace.'