Paul is taking part in this year’s London Marathon and is looking to raise over £10,000. He was diagnosed with CLL in 2006, aged 42 years.
CLL is the most common form of leukaemia in adults, but tends to affect those over the age of 65 years. Paul’s case is quite unusual.
Although CLL is very rare in people Paul’s age, his consultant reassured him that treatments are available, however there is no cure.
“Looking back,” says Paul, “the first few months after I was diagnosed with leukaemia are a complete blur. My consultant pointed me in the direction of credible websites, namely Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, to learn more about leukaemia and this really helped me to cope. Searching helplessly through the internet is not useful as you come across all sorts of falsities and horror stories.”
“As soon as I had gotten my head around the facts, I began to focus on how I was going to beat leukaemia,” says Paul. “I think it’s almost easier for the person diagnosed than for their friends and family,” adds Paul. “I really was OK about it all, but I’m not sure anyone believed me.”
Unfortunately Paul’s blood count did not recover sufficiently for him to be able to have a life-saving stem cell transplant. Instead his consultant recommended he take part in a new clinical trial. Paul gladly agreed.
Through repeated hospital visits Paul has learnt a lot about the vital research into blood cancers that goes on behind the scenes. And the more he has learnt the more amazed he becomes.
“I now have a great appreciation for how important research is to patients affected by blood cancers – it’s the only way to find a cure and keep improving treatments.”
“I know I have been lucky through all of this. A friend of ours was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia recently and died within a few months. It was awfully sad and a strong reminder of how much research still needs to be done.”
With all this on his mind and feeling fitter than he has in a long time, Paul has decided to run the London Marathon in 2011 to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the largest blood cancer charity in the UK.
“I hope that by sharing my story and raising money to support such a great charity, people affected by blood cancers will feel assured that the research is really paying off.”