A battling dad who has beaten multiple cancer diagnoses and had to undergo several liver transplants is hoping to inspire other people to overcome serious illnesses.
Phil Brennan, of Moorside, was first told he had bowel cancer 25 years ago but despite successful surgery he was informed a decade ago that a tumour had been found in his liver.
After a liver transplant was found not to have worked, Phil, now 63, was back in surgery to have another, this time successful procedure.
Ballooning to 22 stone, the former merchant seaman was told he would have to lose weight and attended Slimming World classes in a bid to beat the bulge.
But only five years ago, medics informed him he had skin cancer, with part of his face cut out and replaced with a skin graft.
Thinking that was the end of his ordeals, doctos then told him he had cancer in his bowel and stomach, known as Neuroendocrine tumours, which have thankfully not developed and therefore not had to be operated on.
Despite going through so many health battles in the last 30 years, Phil has mostly managed to remain upbeat and to repay the help he has had from Macmillan Cancer Support he held a “I didn’t die party” to raise funds for the charity.
“I’ve got a lot to live for if I’m honest,” said Phil, who married his partner Fern, 27, last August with who he has son Noah, one.
“You just have to be positive about things I’m my experience.
“After the last bout of cancer when I had to have the liver transplants I had severe depression.
“I couldn’t understand why I was being supported and I tried to push my family away so that they wouldn’t get hurt.
“But Macmillan helped me to understand what I was doing and got me out of that spiral of thinking.”
After getting a new lease of life with his marriage and having a young son, Phil put on a celebration at Lakeside Social Club, near Silksworth, with the £1,4000 proceeds from the night going to Macmillan.
“I’ve done a few things for Macmillan over the years but wanted to put on something bigger,” added Phil who is also stepfather to Fern’s daughter Faith, six.
“The venue gave us the room free of charge and we got 75 presents donated for the raffle which helped us to raise £1,400 which I’m really pleased with.
“I wanted to say thank you and show people that Macmillan is an essential part of the team that has saved my life.
“I still get help from them now and they don’t just look after you but your family as well.”
Phil added: “I just want to prove to people that there is life after cancer.
“I’ve got a young son to prove that.
“If I can inspire one person or talk to others who are going through what I have to keep them strong, then I’ll do it.”