Husband goes the distance to thank those that saved his wife

1 June 2017

100 miles to mark wife’s blood cancer journey

On 4 June, Patrick Byrnes will cycle the Tour de Manc, an open road, 100 mile ride travelling through all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.

Patrick’s wife, Nicola, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in June 2015 and underwent months of chemotherapy at The Christie Hospital in Manchester to go into remission. Nicola then needed a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor to give her a second chance of life.

A matching blood cell stem donor was found in Germany and in March 2016, Nicola received her donation at the Haematology and Transplant Unit at The Christie.

As a thank you for helping save Nicola’s life Patrick wanted a challenge to raise awareness and much needed funds for DKMS and HaTS (Haematology and Transplant Support), an independent charity which directly supports the patients and the families of the Haematology and Transplant unit.

Patrick said: “To say it changed our lives is an understatement - the hospital has been our second home and the medical team have saved my wife’s life on multiple occasions. At times getting to the transplant seemed to be out of reach, an impossibility, and despite some very dark days we managed to get through it.

“If the donor hadn’t signed up to be a potential lifesaver and without the brilliant support of DKMS and the medical team my wife wouldn’t be here today. I wanted to do this challenge to raise awareness of blood cancer and how important it is to register as a potential blood stem cell donor - you could help give someone a second chance of life. I wanted to give something back to say thank you, so please donate to these two great charities.”

Patrick has been married to Nicola for three years and will be doing the challenge with his friend Tom.

Miquel Leon, DKMS Head of Fundraising said: “We are dedicated in helping the fight against blood cancer through the recruitment of blood stem cell donors. Nicola’s story is an example of how important it is for people to register as a potential blood stem cell donor and we wish Patrick the best of luck with the challenge.”

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. For many of these people, a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor is their best chance of survival. Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can register to become a potential lifesaver. You can register as a potential blood stem cell donor with DKMS.

If you would like to donate to Patrick's challenge, you can make a donation on his fundraising page.