Richard T
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Birmingham Bikeathon: My way of saying thank you

Richard T
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13 May 2015

My treatment, being on antibiotics for life and giving something back to help others beat blood cancer.

I was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer known as hairy cell leukaemia over 20 years ago. Two courses of chemotherapy and a few wobbles later, at 61 I’m still pretty fit!

Blood cancer has been a significant part of my life – my mother died quite young from chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), and several of my close family and friends have been affected by the disease. Many of them have come through it – but sadly a few have not.

If I’d been diagnosed 30 years ago, I’d have had my spleen removed and been on antibiotics for life. After a career in academic research, I know how painstaking and expensive research can be.

But thanks to work done by this charity, I can see that we’re getting there – I think there’ll be a huge difference in how we see blood cancer in the next fifty years.

I signed up to ride 100 miles at last year’s Birmingham Bikeathon as way of saying thank you, and as a ‘21 years post-remission’ present to myself. It was my first big fundraising attempt, and I was overwhelmed by the response – 200 donations, from £1 to £500 – and a grand total of around £6,500! I loved doing the event – the carnival atmosphere at the start and end was really special.

I’ve already signed up for Birmingham Bikeathon in 2015, and would love to do the London | Paris cycle one day! And I support the charity in other ways, by giving a monthly donation and making a gift in my Will – anything I can do will help beat blood cancer.