A TOP Merseyside politician recently diagnosed with a rare terminal blood cancer has said he’s determined to fight on and re-win his seat in the upcoming election – even as his condition worsens.

Phillip Brightmore, who recently described the heartbreaking moment he told his girlfriend about the cancer, has vowed to fight on, and thanked his family, friends and constituents for support received.

Phillip, 32, who is a cabinet member at Wirral Council, praised the kindness of people living in the Pensby and Thingwall ward, where he hopes to re-win his seat at May’s local election.

He explained: “The outpouring of support from residents has been remarkable, unexpected and heart-warming. I want them to know that I have kept every letter and email, can recall every conversation and text.

“Sometimes, on difficult days, I read over them and it makes me smile afresh and know that I won’t let this beat me, that I must fight on.”

Phillip was recently diagnosed with myeloma – a rare terminal blood cancer mostly seen in much older people, and said he discovered it “by accident”.

In October, he revealed the emotional moment he told Jayne, his girlfriend of six years, about his condition, which – he was told – means he has around two years to live.

In October, he told BBC Radio Merseyside: “I was very shocked, as you can imagine. On leaving the Royal Liverpool Hospital, I called my girlfriend, and about an hour later we met as we always do after work on the docks, and there I told her of my condition.

“I remember at the time – we like to watch the Mersey and the ships come in – a cruise ship had just moored, and people were ambling on and off the ship.

“There was an elderly couple going on, and we watched them holding hands and boarding together, and we were just so upset because we knew that would never be us.”

A complex blood cancer originating in the bone marrow, Phillip’s condition is known to be difficult for health care officials to diagnose.

He found out about the condition by “accident”, while undergoing tests for food allergies last year.

But on Thursday, Phillip said the support of Jayne, as well as his family and friends, had been “unwavering”.

He explained: “They insist on accompanying me to hospital every few weeks, something I always explain isn’t necessary, but secretly would feel adrift without.

“I’ve also lost count of the numbers of people who have contacted me to share their stories, offer support and advice or explain that, having read about my condition, they have signed up to be a stem cell donor.

“I truly am fortunate to know such wonderful people and their constant concern, efforts and generosity makes it difficult to ever feel anything but loved, even at my lowest and most anxious.”

He said he wanted to use his position now to show people that a cancer diagnosis is not the “be all, end all” – and that he wanted to do three things, “even as I grow less well”.

He said: “The first, having previously said diagnosis with cancer, even terminal cancer, is not the end, I now need to demonstrate that fact, and I’m determined to do so.

“Cancer will affect one in three of us, some reports state one in two. We can’t let it beat us. I want to say directly to those who may have recently been diagnosed, you’re not alone.”

He said his second task was to promote and highlight the “vital” work of charities Myeloma UK, Bloodwise, Anthony Nolan and DKMS, all of which provide support to patients, families and those wishing to donate stem cells.

He said his third was to encourage more to sign up to become stem cell donors, adding: “To anyone considering doing this, know you will save a life, and by saving that life you will enrich a dozen more.”

Doctors initially told Phillip he had two years to live, but he explained: “I continue to see oncologists every six to eight weeks, but visit hospital for one reason or another most weeks. It’s frightening and has a way of focusing the mind. So far my condition remains stable, although not without issues. This has led doctors to recommend I do not start chemotherapy at this time. The team in Clatterbridge Hospital have been fantastic.”

He said for those who have potentially cancerous symptoms, “nothing” was more important than getting them checked, adding: “When I received my diagnosis all I truly gained was knowledge, and that knowledge has enabled me to seek the help I need. Getting checked didn’t make me sick, it was a positive step and nothing to fear. Please get checked.”

Phillip was re-selected by his party last autumn, and said the news made him “delighted, emotional and grateful”.

But he said because of last year’s local election results in Pensby and Thingwall, in which Labour’s Cllr Kate Cannon won by just 23 votes – a slender 0.5% majority – this time around would be “tough”.

He added: “As a councillor I’ve never taken anything for granted especially as I took the seat from the Tories in a by-election in 2013.

“Labour will be out campaigning for every single vote and I’ll be standing on my record as someone who tries their hardest to campaign all year round and represent residents’ views.”

In terms of what the future holds, Phillip added: “I want to keep fighting for Pensby and Thingwall.”

His political priorities include remaining a local school governor and member of local community groups, help the village’s “wonderful” Christmas lights go “from strength to strength”, and ensure Pensby Library, the children’s centre and Ridgewood Park remain accessible and well-funded.

That’s as well as protecting the green belt against Government plans, and council services against “relentless austerity”.

He added: “I want to outrage my condition. I want to demonstrate, not just state, that life doesn’t end with cancer diagnosis and sometimes, despite the illness, the best years can still lay ahead.”