Ricky was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) at the age of 18.
Ricky’s MDS progressed into acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and he sadly lost his life in 2005 at just 23 years old, after a battle with the disease that lasted almost five years. Ricky’s dad John tells his story:
“Ricky was a very clever, hardworking young man, working from the age of 13 at our local Romford market. His school record was excellent. He achieved well and managed to secure a place in the Ford Motor Company apprentice college. Then ‘bang’: at the age of 18 he was diagnosed with MDS. We managed to contact Professor Mufti at Kings College Hospital and relate Ricky’s story, and were immediately asked to go and see him. From that moment Ricky was a friend and patient of the professor. He will still remember him for his bravery and strength!
After chemo and radiotherapy, Ricky was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor in Nova Scotia at around 20 years old. It was not a great match, but it was all that was available. He recovered well and returned to work until in his 22nd year the leukaemia returned. He was taken into hospital and had more marrow from his donor, but after many complications during his treatment, he lost his fight in March 2005, just after spending his 23rd birthday in hospital in February.
His hobbies included martial arts, where he was one of the fastest qualifying members of his karate club to get to black belt standard. He had many fun holidays abroad and was mad on cars. A typical ‘Essex’ boy. He could swim for miles and was not afraid of any challenge!
He was loved by many and at his funeral people commented they had never seen anything like it! Over 200 young friends, plus all his Ford friends and colleagues, plus us, his family. The manager of Upminster Crematorium said they had never seen such a large turnout.
Sometime after, we set up the ‘Forget Me Not Fund’ in his honour, hoping to raise around £1000. It just went on and on and people are still asking for more! We have walked with Ian Botham, his friends have run the marathon for him, jumped from aeroplanes, climbed mountains, held charity sports events! It just goes on.”
The Ricky Edwards Forget Me Not Fund has grown to over £40,000 since 2006. You can find more information on donating to a Tribute Fund or existing Forget Me Not Fund here.