A GYM lover who worked out every day before being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer has been left unable to walk - but the ‘much-loved’ man has had the community rally around him to raise thousands.
Brandon Hackett, 20, who lives in the town centre, was a ‘fit young lad’ who went to the gym weightlifting and power lifting.
In August this year, he started to get back pains that got progressively worse.
He, along with his mum, 47-year-old Clare, went to the doctor only to be told that they believed it was just an overworked muscle from the gym.
The pain continued to worsen and physio sessions didn’t work and neither did the stretches he was told to do.
Clare told the Chronicle: “He ended up going to Leeds Fest even though he was in a lot of pain but on the Monday his legs were getting worse so I took him to A and E.
“We ended up going home but on the Tuesday I took him back in because he’d fallen in the night.
“They did an MRI scan and found a growth on his spine.”
Brandon was then referred to Sheffield Northern General Hospital and subsequently taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for chemotherapy.
“At Sheffield Northern General they underwent surgery to relieve the pressure from his spine because there was a tumour compressing his nerves,” she added.
“He was then referred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where we were told that there was a one per cent chance it would be Ewing Sarcoma - and if not that we should prepare for the worst.
“We were then told that it was Ewing and after the operation he started to get some feeling back in his legs - but that kept coming and going.
“He started chemotherapy about three or four weeks ago but it’s so hard and frustrating for Brandon because he’s unable to use his legs.
“He’s gone from going to the gym every day to not even being able to walk.”
Ewing Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that affects bones or the tissue around the bones, and less than 100 people are diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK.
Brandon had his 20th birthday in hospital on October 7 but he had hoped to be home for the big day and Clare admits that the diagnosis has been devastating for the whole family.
A fundraiser was set up by Beth Eager, Brandon’s step-sister, to help with a number of everyday tasks such as travel costs for the family to visit him as he’s currently in hospital in Birmingham.
More than £4,700 has already been donated of their £5,000 target in less than two weeks - and any money left over will be donated to the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
“When Brandon was diagnosed I was shocked and devastated - it was so upsetting for all his family and friends,” his mum added.
“He’s loved by absolutely everyone and he has so many friends.
“It was his step-sister that set up the fundraising page up and we only expected to raise a couple of hundred pounds for things like private physio and to help him get a wig.
“It’ll be used to help him and his girlfriend Paige as well - she’s been absolutely amazing.
“But the support has been overwhelming.”