Hartlepool-born firefighter inspires amazing challenge after health bombshell
A fireman born and bred in Hartlepool is set to scale new heights in his battle to beat cancer and raise money for a cause close to his heart.
Stuart Crebbin, 45, who now works for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, was diagnosed in April with stage 4 colon cancer following his diagnosis of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in January.
But he is staying positive by organising a 10 Peak Challenge on the Brecon Becons mountain range in Wales along with 18 friends and colleagues.
It will see them attempt to scale 10 mountain peaks, covering 42 miles, in just 24 hours on Monday, August 10, in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity.
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Stuart, who still has several relatives in Hartlepool and visits regularly, described his double diagnosis as “a bombshell”.
His PTSD was caused by the recent triggering of memories of frightening experiences with knife-wielding gangs during his time as a policeman in Birmingham in the 90s.
He said: “It has come back to haunt me 20 years on.”
Stuart continued to feel ill after his diagnosis and tests revealed advanced cancer in his colon which also spread to his liver and lungs.
He said: “Living with PSTD and cancer has had a devastating effect on me but I'm staying positive with the help of loved ones, friends, colleagues and the charity.”
He came up with the idea of the 10 Peaks Challenge and colleagues quickly got on board.
Stuart added: “With the chemo and immunotherapy I’m having it’s taken it out of me a little bit, but I plan to join in on the day as and when I can.”
He has already smashed his £1,000 target for the charity, which helps firefighters injured, ill or in need of psychological support, and now stands at almost £4,000.
Stuart plans to attend the charity’s Harcombe House in Devon for some respite when coronavirus restrictions allow.
And he has also started a campaign called #SayNo2Stage4 as he is responding well to treatment.
"Not many people get through it but there are some success stories,” added Stuart.
To support Stuart's fundraising go to Stu's Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks page at justgiving.com