A PROMISING young referee had to have his leg amputated during life-saving surgery after doctors discovered a 11 centimetre tumour.
Craig Swift, had his left leg removed after it was discovered that the rare bone cancer had spread much further than surgeons anticipated.
But almost 12 months on from his operation, the courageous 17-year-old is getting his life back on track as he gets used to walking with a prosthetic leg.
It was not until he woke up from the operation that he realised they had removed his leg, but the stoic teenager says he is not letting it hold him back.
Craig, of Norbreck Crescent, Warmsworth, said: “It has been difficult but there’s no point in sitting around moping. You’ve just got to get on with life.”
The Doncaster College catering student began to experience discomfort in his left knee in April last year. Following a series of tests doctors broke the news that he had form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma.
He said: “I was limping about and went to see my GP. At first, doctors thought it was just growing pains. But I eventually got a diagnosis and after a biopsy I had the operation at a specialist hospital in Birmingham and chemotherapy at Weston Park in Sheffield.”
Chelsea fan Craig, who has currently put his college studies on hold, is now going for weekly physio sessions at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
His dad Robert, 47, spoke of the horror of the phone call from the surgeons saying they would have to remove Craig’s leg.
“I was devastated. You want your son to have the best in life, you want them to be able to be active so it was really hard to hear but he’s doing incredibly well,” he said.
Several fundraising events are taking place in the borough in Craig’s name to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust at Weston Park, where he received treatment.
A football game took place last month between Denaby United and a Doncaster Junior League Allstars team, organised by the under 16s and 17s at the Yorkshire Main in Edlington.
Also, hospitality, catering and travel and tourism students at Doncaster College have chosen the Weston Park Teenage Cancer Trust as their charity of the year.
Their next big event is a special dinner this evening with Craig as the guest of honour.
It will include a three-course dinner, music from the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, and a charity auction.
There are places still available, tickets cost £25 each and are available from 01302 553614.