BRAVE dad Phil Brennan has battled bowel and skin cancer and had a liver transplant.
Now, after shedding stones and seeing his health “improve dramatically”, he is hoping to persuade people to lose weight the natural way, rather than turn to surgery.
Phil, 58, had a liver transplant five years ago and was a whopping 22 stone after struggles with various medical problems.
The former merchant navy engineer, of Seaview Road West, Ryhope, thinks people who want to lose weight should persevere with natural methods
Phil was first diagnosed with bowel cancer 20 years ago, before having a liver transplant in 2006.
However, he piled on the pounds and was referred to a bariatric clinic where the possibility of having a gastric band fitted was discussed.
Phil and wife Trish, 52, attend a Sunderland slimming club along with their 14-year-old daughter Rebecca.
Phil, who also had surgery for skin cancer last year, said: “I was asked by Trish and my daughter not to go down that route because I have a supressed immune system and there’s a risk of infection so my body can’t fight it as well.
“I was preparing to be put on the waiting list but I was referred to slimming classes and it has ended up working wonders.
“I’m not getting any younger, but at 58 I’m the best I’ve been in a long time.”
Phil credits the Slimming World classes he had been attending since December last year with helping him develop a new lease of life. He is now down to under 17st.
“The group support I’ve found absolutely essential,” he said.
“I’ve had problems with cancer but since I have lost this weight and changed the diet my health has improved dramatically.”
Paula Whiting, who runs the class which Phil and his family attend, said: “He’s been absolutely fantastic.
“Phil’s such an upbeat person and he has made a lot of new friends as well.”
l Slimming World classes at Ryhope Community Centre take place at 9.30am on Tuesdays and 7pm on Thursdays. Call Paula on 07788 131870 for more details.