A PIONEERING charity that saves the lives of those with blood cancer has been given a welcome boost thanks to the fundraising and determination of one Wirral marathon runner.
Vicky Thomas tackled the London Marathon earlier this month to raise money for the Anthony Nolan – which uses their register to match remarkable donors willing to donate their blood stems cells or bone marrow to people who desperately need lifesaving transplants.
Despite running three half marathons in the past, April 13 was the first time 30-year-old Vicky had tackled the full 26 miles and her efforts have so far managed to raise £2,472 for the charity.
“When I turned 30 my husband and I decided that we needed a big goal so I chose to run the London Marathon and he chose to cycle the Tour of Flanders in Belgium,” explained Vicky, who lives with husband Gareth in Bebington.
“I also felt that that I should do my bit for charity.”
Vicky initially signed up alone but soon managed to convince her friend Gemma Nichols to run with her.
While Vicky ran for Anthony Nolan, Gemma ran for Mind, which provides advice and support for those experiencing mental health problems.
As well as running on the Wirral Way with Gemma, Vicky also trained with local running group Mums to Marathons, who helped to keep her motivated.
Vicky told the Globe: “I chose to run for Anthony Nolan because they are a pioneering charity that saves lives of people with blood cancer.
“I felt that this charity and the amazing work they do was something I wanted to raise awareness of and this would hopefully get more people to join the bone marrow donor register.”
On average, 65 people a day are diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK – that’s one person every 20 minutes.
There are nearly 1,600 people in the UK in need of a bone marrow transplant, which is often being their chance of survival,
Vicky added: “I managed to raise just under £2,500 so I am absolutely delighted as the money will help to save the lives of people with blood cancer.”
Close to 70% of patients will not find a matching donor from within their families and so it is vital that more people sign up to become a donor.
To join the register, you must be aged between 16 to 30, weight more than eight stone (51kg) and be in general good health.
For more information, or to apply to join the register, visit anthonynolan.org or call 0303 303 0303.