"OUR brave son might still be alive today if only he had been given the chance."

Those are the words of the devastated parents of Danny Wright, who died aged only 27.

Danny battled cancer for 19 months, putting up with six gruelling chemotherapy sessions and three cancelled operations.

At the end, he refused to go into a hospice until he had seen who was evicted from the Big Brother house.

His parents said: "Everybody he worked with became a friend. He had a quirky sense of humour, and he touched so many lives. He was a lovely person."

Danny, of Moor Lane, Dringhouses, worked as a joiner in York and abroad. In December 2004 he thought he must have pulled a muscle in his groin as he worked.

He was put on a course of painkillers and referred to a physiotherapist, and had to endure five months of pain before it became clear something was terribly wrong.

An X-ray scan found a tumour on his pelvic bone, and a biopsy at Birmingham Hospital showed it was cancerous.

Danny's mum, Sue, said: "The doctors in Birmingham said they would give him chemotherapy to get the tumour down then operate to give him a new pelvic bone and hip.

"They warned him that the operation would be horrendous, that it would take him nearly a year to recover and that he would never do physical work again.

"He was brave enough to want to have the operation, but he never had the chance."

His dad, Paul, said: "He ended up having six sessions of chemotherapy the maximum anyone can have but every time Birmingham cancelled the operation.

"They said the cancer kept spreading, so it was pointless removing the tumour. They said they didn't want to put him through it but he wanted to try it."

Sue said: "If they had operated, he might have had a better chance, but I suppose we will never know."

Danny died on Sunday, July 16, at St Leonard's Hospice, in York having lived long enough to see Nikki being evicted from Big Brother at home.

Hundreds of friends, family and colleagues came to Danny's funeral, and a collection raised £800 for Macmillan Cancer Support and St Leonard's Hospice.

Danny was brought up in Dringhouses with his two older sisters, Becky and Sam. He went to Woodthorpe Primary School, then Lowfield School. He got a job as an apprentice joiner despite telling his careers adviser he wanted to be a tattoo artist.

His job took him to America with conservatory company Oak Leaf but he was always a "homebird at heart".

He told his parents he was just starting to enjoy being a joiner, when he was diagnosed with cancer. He died 15 months later.

Sue said: "It was terrible to see a young fit lad with a walking stick like an old man, but he was really brave. His attitude was good, and that rubbed off on to us and kept us strong. He never complained even though he was in agony."

Paul said: "We were really proud of how he dealt with it. Everyone who knew him was so proud of him."

The family also thanked the doctors, Macmillan nurses and staff at St Leonard's for all their support.

Danny's passions in life were fast cars and tattoos.

Sue said: "I never got a tattoo from him, but I wish I had. There will be a lot of people out there with a permanent reminder of him."

Liz Heath, spokeswoman for the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, said: "We are very sorry to hear of Danny's death and send our condolences to his family. However it would be inappropriate for me to comment on his clinical treatment. If the family are unhappy in any way we would be very happy to meet with them to address their concerns."