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Dad's rare form of cancer leads to awareness campaign

Published date: 02 September 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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CONDITION ;Bryn Phillips 

A MAN recently diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer is breaking through the pain barrier to increase awareness of the condition.

Bryn Phillips, a married 37-year-old father of three from Hawarden, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer myeloma earlier this summer after suddenly finding himself unable to walk due to crippling pain.

The condition affects about 100,000 people each year worldwide and is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for producing antibodies.

In multiple myeloma, collections of abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow.

As a result, Bryn has brittle bones and is currently undergoing chemotherapy while organising a number of Myeloma UK fundraising events to boost research into the little known form of the disease.

“In March I began suffering with excruciating pain,” Mr Phillips told the Leader.

“It was like being stabbed or someone putting a red hot poker on my back.

“I couldn’t walk and doctors told me I had torn a disc in my back.

“I didn’t have an MRI scan because I trusted what I had been told.

“But when the pain continued I went to see a sports physiotherapist who advised me to have a scan – so I paid to have one done.”

When the results were available Mr Phillips was asked to visit his doctor after being told the images showed “worrying signs”.

“I had a biopsy and they pretty much confirmed it for me straight away,” Mr Phillips, who lives on Cromwell Road.

The director of his own Dee Landscapes firm, the keen fisherman admits to still being “in something of a denial” about having myeloma but has focused on increasing awareness of the cancer, as well as on his own recovery.

“After the initial shock of diagnosis I decided to make something positive out of my situation by raising funds and awareness of myeloma,” he said.

“Myeloma research is funded entirely by charitable donations and this is my way of giving something back.”

Mr Phillips currently endures two bouts of chemotherapy each week in Manchester which will continue for the next four months before he undergoes stem cell operations.

He has only recently started managing to walk again.

However, with the support of family and friends his fundraising efforts have already started.

On Saturday the Connah’s Quay Waterman’s Association are hosting an evening of live entertainment and a barbecue from 7pm at the town’s dock, with all proceeds going to the Bryn Phillips Myeloma Support Fund.

On September 20 his “dedicated” Dee Landscapes staff will tackle Snowdon to help boost the fund further.

The Spitting Feathers Brewery in Waverton, Chester, is holding an afternoon of refreshments, food and live music from 12.30pm-5pm.

And on November 20 another live music event is taking place at Ewloe Social Club for a Myeloma UK charity night.

Mr Phillips added: “It is humbling to receive the support I have had from family and friends.”

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at www.justgiving.com/ 

bryn-phillips.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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