Patient bio here
Mike Naylor, a 37-year-old landscaper from Hull, is able to turn his hand at anything, Mike has transformed relative’s unsightly small backyard into a beautiful warm space and has also been commissioned by influential members of his local authority to re-designer their open spaces.
Mike’s creativity and talent also extends to cooking. He applied for MasterChef in 2020 and shared his ongoing battle with Leukemia with the production team. Although he wasn’t selected for the show, they were impressed with the meal (tomato tartare) he prepared via Zoom. It was in April 2019, when training for his next Marathon in Edinburgh that he and Nicky noticed there was a problem and change in Mike’s health. It started as lower back pain and them thinking he had pulled something whilst heavy lifting or training, Mike visited a chiropractor. After some sessions, his back felt no better. On his 36th Birthday, on 23 June 2019, Mike lost his appetite and became further unwell; night sweats (high temperatures), fatigue and shortness of breath soon followed. He lost over a stone in weight in the space of 6 weeks and was suffering other ill-affects such as insomnia. He also developed a pinprick rash (petechiae) on his back, uppers arms and shoulders. A blood test results showed a rising white cell count, which the GP thought could be a virus or parasite from working outdoors so treated him for a chest infection.
“By the end of July 2019, his bone marrow biopsy and tests had shown he had B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It was a huge shock to us both!” Mike spent 5 weeks in hospital where he began intense chemotherapy in August 2019. “We were told he would be on a lengthy treatment plan (three years) to get rid of the leukemia and to remission.” Yet, after four weeks of intense chemotherapy, Mike’s bone marrow results showed he was clear of the disease. He continued his treatment plan of consolidation therapy as an outpatient. Then in March 2020, Mike began to return to work but this was put on hold because of the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic. Mike was eventually able to return to work and a routine check (July 2020) showed his bone marrow biopsy still remained clear of the disease. He was moved onto his maintenance therapy, a tablet form of chemotherapy.
However in October 2020, he began to feel really tired and fatigued again. On 22nd October 2020, he had a blood transfusion as his hemoglobin was really low. He didn’t pick up after it. Then on Monday 9th November, he went to see the consultant and after a blood test, it showed the leukemia had relapsed. 8 days later, Mike was admitted into Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital where he is undergoing intense chemotherapy treatment to reduce the leukemia as an inpatient on the ward. The plan is for Mike to have a stem cell transplant mid-way through next year.
Every 20 minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. This diagnosis is devastating, and during the corona virus outbreak, it is even more crucial that we do all we can to offer hope to people with blood cancer and blood disorders. We have seen the numbers of people joining the blood stem cell register decline dramatically in recent times, and now, more than ever before, we need you to sign up. For many, a blood stem cell donation is their best chance of recovery and only 30% of people find a match within their family. This means the remainder will need to find an anonymous blood stem cell donor, and that could be you.
A note about Coronavirus
We understand there are lots of worries and concerns around coronavirus and would like to reassure you that it is completely safe to request and send in your swabs.
If you're a match
If you are identified as a match, you will donate in one of two ways. In the majority of cases this is via a process called “Peripheral Blood Stem Cell collection”, which is a little like giving blood. In 10% of cases, the stem cells are taken from your bone marrow, under general anaesthetic. The method of donation is chosen by the patients team based on what is most suitable for them.
Together we will beat blood cancer.
To register as a blood stem cell donor, you need to be between 17-55, in general good health and not registered with another donor centre. To check your eligibility and request your swab kit, follow the link below.
It costs us £40 to register a new donor on the UK stem cell registry. As a charity, we rely on monetary donations from the public to help cover this cost and greatly appreciate any contribution, no matter how big or small.
If you are unable to register as a potential donor, we would be very grateful if you could consider making a contribution towards the cost of a registration.