Ellie Dawes
Posted by
Ellie Dawes

Richard Castle's story

Ellie Dawes
Posted by
Ellie Dawes
28 Mar 2013

I was first diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in May 2008.

The diagnosis was a result of urgent blood tests which my GP sent me for because of some unexplained bruising and soft tissue bleeding from my gums. My treatment started almost immediately after being admitted to The Royal Marsden in Sutton. I had drug therapy which included high dose chemo and tablets. Following this I was released to go back home. I returned to the Marsden for 3 further stays to have consolidation chemo. Following this I was placed on maintenance therapy for 2 years.  I went back to work in October 2008.

In September 2009 I relapsed and then had further chemo and radiotherapy to prepare me for a stem cell transplant. The search for a donor started and it wasn’t long before one was found, my brother Gary. I had the transplant in December 2009 and was allowed to go home on Christmas Eve which was fantastic. Also, I exchanged contracts on my new home from my hospital bed on the 18th December.

In April 2010 I returned to my job as a Train Driver/Instructor which I still do to this day. I go to the Marsden every 3 months for follow up blood tests and 6 monthly bone marrow aspirates.

Inspired by the success of my treatment and the fantastic research by the charity, I decided to become a volunteer; after all without their work I wouldn’t be here at all.  My first assignment was in April 2011 at the ‘Give Blood Cancer The Red Card’ event at Selhurst Park; the home of Crystal Palace FC who I have supported all my life. I appeared on the pitch alongside Geoff Thomas and told the crowd my story. My next job was at London Bikeathon, this was fantastic. I was filmed and appeared in the promo video for this event. I have since volunteered at a number of events including Christmas Carols with the Stars, a carol service fundraiser in Chelsea and one or two others. In September 2012 I rode 26 miles in the London Bikeathon and raised about £300.00

I enjoy being a volunteer for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research as I want to say thanks and give something back to this wonderful organisation. Without the lifesaving work they do I wouldn’t be able to share my story.