In June 2012 James was diagnosed with leukaemia for the second time. In 2007 he was cured of Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APML) thanks to a very specific treatment regime. He was back to full health and it was only a routine check-up that revealed further problems with his bone marrow in June 2012. This time the diagnosis was less favourable: a secondary leukaemia caused by the chemotherapy he had received five years previously.
The only possible cure for this leukaemia was a stem cell transplant, and armed with the knowledge of the risks that this entailed James was admitted to hospital on October 10th to begin the tranplant process using cells from a donor. Two weeks into the treatment when his immunity was at his weakest he developed a massive infection and was transferred to intensive care. We were told he wouldn't make it through the following 24 hours, but with the help of the amazing ICU staff he battled the infections and complications for almost four weeks with the strength of character he had shown all his life. In the end the complications were too many and he died on November 22nd, surrounded by his family and friends.
James's death leaves a huge gaping hole in many many people's lives. Without the work of organisations such as Leukaemia Research it is likely that we would have lost him five years earlier. At the moment this feels like little consolation, but I believe that in his generous, selfless way he would want to know that treatment options for people going through the same as he did were improving all the time.
Please help us to support Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in James's name so that others in the future have every chance of a cure.