Community rallies round Hastings father, 39, and family following cancer diagnosis

The community has rallied round a Hastings father to help him and his family following his cancer diagnosis.
Huw with his daughter Ada and fiancee JessHuw with his daughter Ada and fiancee Jess
Huw with his daughter Ada and fiancee Jess

Huw Mackin, 39, was diagnosed with a large bone tumour on his pelvis in June.

The father-of-one, who trained as an outdoor professional, child therapist and counsellor and has worked with vulnerable children and young people, had to have his leg amputated in an attempt to save his life.

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Huw said: “In June of this year, my life took an unexpected turn with a chondrosarcoma diagnosis, a large bone tumour in my pelvis. To combat this, I underwent major surgery.

Huw with his fiancee Jess at the Shambala festivalHuw with his fiancee Jess at the Shambala festival
Huw with his fiancee Jess at the Shambala festival

“The eight-hour planned surgery turned into a grueling 22 hours in the operating theatre, the surgical team managed to stabilise me and move me to the intensive care unit. I remained unconscious in an induced coma for six weeks battling sepsis, multi-organ failure, and constant temperature spikes due to infection.

“Eventually, my medical team had to make a tough decision – to perform an external hemipelvectomy, amputating my leg up to the pelvis. It was a drastic measure, but it saved my life.

“After this journey through the darkest days, I'm grateful to say that I'm now cancer-free. When my surgeons explained the severity of my condition and the loss of my leg, I profusely thanked them for saving my life and giving me the opportunity to continue being a father to our beautiful four-year-old daughter, Ada, and a partner to my fiancée, Jess.

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“However, due to the extended time I spent in a coma, significant muscle wastage has left me bedbound and physically immobile. I spent two months in the intensive care unit until I was stable enough to be transferred to a hospital specialising in physical rehabilitation.

Huw with his fiancee Jess and daughter AdaHuw with his fiancee Jess and daughter Ada
Huw with his fiancee Jess and daughter Ada

“Even after nearly four months, I am still in the hospital with no end date in sight for my return home. While we have received incredible support from family, friends and the community, our main source of income, which was self-employment, has been lost. My partner has taken on full-time care of our daughter and supporting me, making it impossible for her to work.

“This has led us into a second crisis, as we are unable to earn enough to cover our living expenses during this challenging time and the long road ahead as we adapt to this life-altering change.”

So far, more than £37,000 has been raised through a Gofundme page his sisters Flora Cox and Chloe Mackin set up.

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The funds will go towards necessary modifications to the family’s home to make it disabled-friendly, treatment not covered by the NHS to help Huw regain his independence, travel expenses to and from the specialist hospital where he is being treated, which is about a 200-mile round trip from his home, and essential living costs to compensate for the loss of income during his recovery.

Huw rock climbing in north WalesHuw rock climbing in north Wales
Huw rock climbing in north Wales

Chloe said: “We have started this fundraiser on behalf of our brother Huw and his young family as they navigate the biggest challenge they have ever faced. Any funds raised will go towards getting their lives back on track and helping Huw regain his independence. This kind of help will have an immense impact on the quality of their lives and allow them some time to heal.”

A gig has been organised at the Albion pub on November 25 in aid of Huw.

The fundraising page can be found at

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