In 2007 my father Augusto 'Gus' Belpassi was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We were all taken aback by this news, as any close family would be, especially as he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease the previous year.
At Christmas 2008 my father's condition deteriorated and this coincided with my return from Italy for the mid-season break. I started feeling very weak and wasn't feeling myself and proceeded to lose two stone in weight. I went in for blood tests and had a biopsy of a lump that was located on my neck. It was cancerous and I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Belpassi family of 6 would be an example of the statistics of people dealing with cancer in the UK: 1 in 3.
I started my first batch of chemo sat next to my father at the beginning of February 2009. Fast forward six months and I would be sat on my own. I lost my mentor, father and best friend but in my mind this could not affect my mental and positive approach to the challenge ahead.
Fast forward four years and I have been in remission for just over three. I have been through the hardest and lowest time of my life, so now I have to close that chapter and start a new one.