A DAD who underwent a 24-hour lifesaving operation had to have his brain lifted out of his head so doctors could remove a rare form of cancer.
And today – seven years on – Danny Porter, aged 38, from Millhouses, Sheffield, is embarking on a 200-mile bike ride to raise £20,000 for charity.
Danny lost his right eye and was left with permanent scars when surgeons removed the tumour which was lodged behind his nose.
But he has no regrets, because the operation gave him a chance to watch his sons grow up.
“I found out I had cancer just two days after my first son Joe was born,” said Danny, who is head of sport services at Sheffield Hallam University.
“Six weeks later I was going into surgery knowing I might not wake up.”
The procedure, his one chance of beating the rare cancer adenoid cystic carcinoma, had just a 50 per cent chance of success.
Surgeons at Weston Park Hospital had to lift his brain up to get at the tumour, and removed most of the bone structure in the right hand side of his face including the roof of his mouth.
Danny said: “I knew it was risky but I just wanted them to give me a chance.
“My biggest fear was if they had said, ‘there’s nothing more we can do for you’.
“And what they did was incredible.
“I look like I’ve been in a car crash, I’ve lost an eye and I have a false palate in the roof of my mouth.
“But I survived.”
Ever since Danny woke up from the operation he has been determined to give back as much as he can.
He has delighted in watching Joe, now a strapping lad of seven, and his second son Ben, four, grow up.
His charity, the Danny Porter Foundation, has raised £70,000 for charity to date, and Danny hopes to add another £20,000 with his latest challenge.
Together with 30 friends, Danny is cycling over three days from Wakefield, the town where he grew up, to London. Funds raised will go to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield and the Second Chance Headway Centre in Wakefield.
Helen Gentle, fundraiser at Weston Park, said: “Danny Porter is an inspiration to everyone who meets him and we are so grateful to him and his team of cyclists for getting on their bikes once more to raise vital funds.”