NEW ZEALANDER Sophie Curtis-Ham is set to bust a gut to raise funds and awareness for charity and to show support for her sick father Vince.
Sophie, who lives in East London and has lived in the UK for four years, is running her first Edinburgh Marathon on May 26 with the goal of helping the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.
Vince was diagnosed with myeloma in September 2010 soon after his 60th birthday, and a hospital check-up discovered he had 90 percent kidney failure.
Following chemotherapy he had a bone marrow transplant in February 2011.
He has regained kidney function and not needed dialysis for over 18 months.
However his myeloma has returned and he is having more chemo.
His daughter is now running the marathon in support of her father, and has already raised £500 for the charity.
Just £100 will recruit each potential donor, meaning all money raised will help with increasing the pool of potential lifesaving donors
“It’s very difficult with my dad being so ill and so far away,” Sophie said.
“We Skype each other often, and I’m visiting him soon. In the last month, his condition has become worse. He isn’t responding to chemotherapy and the myeloma cells are on the increase again.
“This is a cause that has become very personal to all of us and by raising awareness and funds for Anthony Nolan we can have a direct impact on the number of potential lifesavers on the register.
“The marathon is a big challenge, but training is going well so far. I’m thrilled with the response to my fundraising page already and the more Anthony Nolan’s message is spread, the more people like my dad can find a match.”
Anthony Nolan matches donors with people needing bone marrow transplants worldwide.
Senior Events Manager at Anthony Nolan Kirsty Low said: “Committed fundraisers like Sophie make a lifesaving difference to the work we do. The money they raise will go towards helping us expand our bone marrow register, enabling us to make more matches for people with blood cancer and save more lives. Without these dedicated fundraisers, Anthony Nolan simply couldn’t do the lifesaving work that we do.”
To find out more about Sophie’s story, and to donate, click here.
There are over 460,000 donors on the Anthony Nolan register, but the charity can still only find a match for around half the people who come to them in need of a lifesaving transplant. To sign up, you simply need to fill in a short form and provide a small saliva sample. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.anthonynolan.org/register.