Halifax dad arrives home after 200-mile charity challenge

Brett Swiffen
Brett Swiffen

SCORES of family and friends turned out to welcome Brett Swiffen home from his mammoth 200-mile charity challenge.

The 34-year-old from Pellon, Halifax, arrived in Savile Park yesterday after setting off from outside Buckingham Palace and walking for a week to get home.

As reported by the Courier, Brett was told cancer would mean he would lose the use of the legs and could claim his life.

But he has made an amazing recovery, and wanted to mark five years since his diagnosis with the sponsored walk.

“I feel overwhelmed,” he said.

“It was hard. My partner Nicky and friends came to meet me in Pennistone on the Saturday morning. They inspired me to keep going.”

Sponsorship money is still coming in but Brett says he has achieved his target of raising £2,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust, which helps people with blood cancer.

Now he says he is considering taking on the London Marathon.

Brett was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma on his 30th birthday – May 21, 2007– and was told it was at the most advanced stage.

He underwent intensive chemotherapy to tackle the cancer in lymph nodes in his throat, groin, stomach and right armpit.

Scans showed the cancer had reduced but then in May 2009, he returned to hospital after suffering back pain and was given the devastating news that another tumour has been found, this time in his spine. The tumour was removed and he was then told he needed a bone-marrow transplant – a last resort that he might not have survived.

He had to say goodbye to his family – partner Nicky Brown, five-year-old twins Rosie and Holly and 20-year-old stepson Nicholas – before he went in for the operation in case it was the last time they saw him alive.

But the procedure was a success and, while he needed to be in hospital for several months, he has been working hard to recover and has managed to learn how to walk again, even playing rugby for Halifax Vandals.

Brett has been told the cancer has reduced and is now confined to just his stomach.

To sponsor Brett visit www.justgiving.com/Brett-Swiffen.