A MUM from Bromsgrove has described the heart-wrenching moment she told her children their dad had incurable cancer. 

Mica Murphy’s husband Phil was just 33 when he died of oesophageal cancer last October.

It was just five months after he visited the doctor with acid reflux.

Mica has shared her family’s story in a raw short film made for Stand Up To Cancer, which is a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.

Mica, who works as a civil service compliance officer in Birmingham, hopes the film will inspire people to stand together against the disease by raising money to help make the next cancer breakthrough happen.

The 32-year-old said: “I don’t think there’s anything harder than telling your children that a parent is going to die. It’s just heartbreaking. 

“As well as raising awareness and money, I wanted to support Stand Up To Cancer so people can remember Phil and speak his name.”

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Phil and Mica Murphy with their childrenPhil and Mica Murphy with their children (Image: Cancer Research UK)

In the film Mica describes how she and Phil met online in 2013 and immediately hit it off. Between them the couple brought together three children - Bella, now 14, Evie, now 11 and Mia, now 12. Their daughter Zara, now four, was born in 2019, three years after they got married.

After experiencing digestive issues, Phil was diagnosed with gastritis in April last year but was admitted to hospital after vomiting blood.

“He was so healthy, it never crossed my mind that it could be something so serious,” Mica said. 

“When the doctor said it was stage four, I went into complete shock. It was like a bomb had been dropped".

Phil started chemotherapy in June and needed to stay in hospital for the first two cycles. As the side effects lessened, he began to think about returning to his job as a civil service learning and development manager.

Mica said: “By October we were hopeful that we’d find out the chemotherapy had worked but, after four months, the oncologist told us that the tumours had grown.”

“I didn’t understand that you could have bad news after bad news after bad news.”

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Phil Murphy during treatmentPhil Murphy during treatment (Image: Cancer Research UK)

The family received the heart-breaking news that Phil had eight months to live.

“He quickly said ‘so this is my last birthday, this will be my last Christmas,” Mica added.

“Phil was grieving the loss of his future, the loss of his hopes and dreams. I was grieving everything I thought we were working to get to that was suddenly gone.

“We went from a healthy couple in our early 30s - having fun with a lot to live for - and I can just remember seeing him waste away.

“On the day he died it was just the two of us in the room. I held his hand and said ‘it’s ok, I’m here. I love you.

“I can’t understand still why this happened, but I owe it to Phil to live my life fully. I need to live for both of us and the girls.”

Mica is now calling on people to support Stand Up to Cancer by donating or getting sponsored to take on a trial like the 100 squats a day challenge.