A Hailsham man has raised around £1,500 in aid of a charity which helped him find a bone marrow match for a life-saving transplant.
Dad-of-two Andrew Ward, from Woodlands Close, was diagnosed with Peripheral T-Cell lymphoma, a non-Hodgkins blood cancer, in October 2012.
He was put on a gruelling course of chemotherapy but, when that failed, was told he would need a bone marrow transplant.
Andrew said, “I found a lump in my neck and after that found out the cause of it.
“I had a course of chemotherapy which was fairly straightforward but it made no difference to it. I had to have the bone marrow transplant and if that didn’t work there was nothing else they could do.”
Thanks to the charity, the Anthony Nolan Trust, which has a register of donors and helps find matches for bone marrow transplants, Andrew was found a donor, and is now in recovery.
He said, “I was admitted to Kings College Hospital and then had to have even more aggressive chemotherapy which was a hideous ordeal. But here I am. This time last year, I was being pushed around in a wheelchair. I couldn’t manage to walk. It shows how far I have come.
“I just really want to say that we need more donors. We really need young men aged between 16 and 30 to become donors as they are most likely to be a match.”
In August, to thank the Anthony Nolan Trust for its support, Andrew rode his motorbike from Hailsham to Land’s End in Cornwall. And with his 11-year-old son James on the back and his wife Claire and six-year-old son Benjamin in a support car then made the 881-mile journey to John O’Groats at the northern tip of Scotland. The trip and other fundraising events have raised around £1,500 for the charity.
Andrew said, “I really enjoyed it but it was tough. I am still in recovery and so it was very tiring. I had a tremendous amount of support and it really helped to have my family on the trip and to give something back to Anthony Nolan who have done so much for us. I think the best bit of the trip was just being alive really.”