Alice Byron, the daughter of a family friend, was 21 years old when she passed away. She was in her final year at Cardiff Uni when she was first diagnosed......
The Shirley Nolan Award for Special Recognition was won by Alice. Despite being diagnosed with MDS and then leukaemia, Alice campaigned tirelessly for Anthony Nolan. She joined Cardiff Marrow to recruit donors and raise funds, and wrote an incredibly witty, honest and powerful blog about her experiences – which inspired thousands of people to join the register. Alice continued her studies in hospital and received a 2:1 for her English degree. She sadly passed away shortly after receiving a stem cell transplant, but her legacy and the fundraising in her memory will have a lifesaving impact for years to come.
Every day, Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with a blood cancer or blood disorder. They do this by matching incredible individuals willing to donate their stem cells, to people who desperately need a lifesaving transplant. They also carry out cutting edge scientific research, fund specialist post-transplant nurses and support patients and their families through the transplant process and beyond. They won’t stop until they save the lives of everyone who needs a stem cell transplant. Every penny you donate brings them closer to that day.
The ride on Sunday was absolutely fantastic. I left The Olympic Park in Stratford at 8.40 in the morning and at 4.30 pm was riding up The Mall! My actual riding time was 6 hours 48 minutes and with water and food stops it took 7 hours 54 minutes – hardly Chris Froome but an incredible experience.
The route took me through central London, into Surrey via Richmond Park, Kingston, Weybridge, Byfleet, Abinger Hammer, Leith Hill, Dorking, Box Hill, Leatherhead and to The Mall via Wimbledon. The weather was kind and the crowds and supporters throughout the towns and villages were absolutely fantastic. The frequent wafting aroma of BBQ’s was more than a little tempting but I stuck to bananas, nutrition bars and water!
The main hills were Newlands Corner, Leith Hill, Box Hill and a final drag up Wimbledon Hill – a total climb of 4510 feet and for the statisticians my pedals went round 31,824 times! Compared with training around the Kent roads and lanes it was so good to cycle without traffic and on closed roads with no pot holes!
So the really important bit – the total raised for Anthony Nolan so far, with Gift Aid, is an amazing £4822; the fundraising continues to the end of August so I hope to achieve a little more and take us over £5000. The link on our website will remain open as will this Just Giving page.
An enormous and heartfelt thank you for your support in raising so much money which I know will be put towards life-saving activities; for instance your donations will enable another 80 donors to be added to the register that in turn could save hundreds of lives. Donations apart thank you also to everyone who gave me so much support and encouragement. I so much appreciated the comments that many of you shared with me together with your personal stories and experiences of Anthony Nolan; reading these meant so much and really underlined the amazing work they are undertaking.
Thank you again,