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Susan Hunter

2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]For those of you who don’t know in January 2014 aged 52 my wonderful younger brother was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and he was very very ill.[/p][p]He undertook weeks of gruelling chemotherapy but sadly it didn’t work. His hospital Consultants were left with no choice other than to offer him a Stem Cell Transplant. Unfortunately, even with an incredibly expensive injection he produced zero stem cells of his own. So the next step was a sibling donation. Me and my sisters had previously been tested and I was his match.[/p][p]So on the 25th February 2015, our 'Day Zero' began. Four million stem cells were required. I had previously had hormone injections to force my stem cells from my bones and into my blood stream and my brother had chemotherapy to kill all his bone marrow.[/p][p]With a view to spending 6-8 hours having my blood spun and my stem cells harvested, I made myself comfortable. However to everyone's surprise, only 500,000 cells were collected (nowhere near enough).[/p][p]At the end of the day we had so many questions, but no-one was able to give us any answers as it was “unusual” - a word we have heard many times. So I stayed the night and had another injection ready for Day Two.[/p][p]Once again, I made myself comfortable praying that the day before was just a blip, but alas, at the end of 8 hours the days count was 400,000 (still nowhere near 4 million).[/p][p]Day Three, the target now reduced to a million. This time it was not quite so comfortable as the blood was taken from my groin and movement had to be limited. Eight hours later we waited with baited breath for the Day's count. This time it was 200,000, 1.1 million stem cells in total, a quarter of the original target. The Consultants had no idea why I produced so few but advised there was no further chance to harvest anymore.[/p][p]I was privileged to be able to follow each of my three bags of stem cells and see my brother receive them. I will never be able to express in words the emotions I felt at that time.[/p][p]On the 25th February 2018 it was the third anniversary of the transplant. My brother gets stronger each day.[/p][p]There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful that this treatment exists; my brother wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t available and research made that possible.[/p][p]I wanted to say thankyou, so I thought about what was the most unlikeliest thing I could do, so I decided to run the London Marathon - as you do, with the intention of raising some much needed funds.[/p][p]I could have applied to Anthony Nolan as they tested my blood, or University College London Hospitals who gave him his treatment, but both of these charities have lots of runners.[/p][p]Instead I decided to go back to the beginning, to ‘Research’, and I am delighted that I am one of only three runners chosen to run for the United Kingdom Stem Cell Foundation (UKSCF). http://www.ukscf.org/[/p][p]I knew back in May that I had this place, but had no idea if I could even run, as I last ran 200 metres (the furthest distance I ever ran) when I was at school - over 40 years ago! I have smoked countless cigarettes over many years since then and exercise was something others did.[/p][p]So I went to the local running shop, as the one thing I knew was that I needed trainers. In order to get the correct type I had my first ever go on a treadmill, I ran (I think that’s what it was!) for 30 seconds and thought I was going to die.[/p][p]I tried the recommended trainers on and I was then asked if I was sure I still wanted to buy them and I just about managed to catch my breath enough to gasp out “Yes” but declined the additional run with the trainers on. I walked out of the shop with my trainers in a box wondering whether I would actually put them on my feet and I truly believe the shop owner thought ‘No chance!’. [/p][p]On the 16th May 2017, I started the biggest challenge of my life - to get from my Couch to running 26.2 miles on 22nd April 2018 - and I put the trainers on.[/p][p]My son showed me how to download a podcast and I chose NHS Couch to 5K (3.1 miles). I followed the Podcast to the letter and slowly but surely I put one foot in front of the other. Each run is an achievement, but just thinking about my brother inspires me to keep going. I completed my first 5K race in June, 10K in October, then the first very hilly Knebworth Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in November. I started my 16 week Marathon training programme on 1st January 2018.[/p][p]My brother proves that Stem Cell Transplants can give people a new chance of life, research enables new possibilities for stem cells to be used to conquer other diseases. In particular Parkinson’s Disease, Spinal Cord Injury, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Blindness, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Stroke, Organ Transplantation, Arthritis and Osteoporosis, Bone, Tendon and Cartilage Damage, Sports Injuries, Dementia as well as Cancer.[/p][p]Unfortunately each of us probably knows someone who has been affected by one of these awful diseases and continued research helps develop new treatments, but research requires a lot of funds.[/p][p]So please help me, I would be delighted if you could donate as much as you can afford, it could be the cost of one cup of coffee, a takeaway, a beer or a packet of fags. I’m sure we all enjoy one or all of these treats and could give up one or more and donate the cost to this amazing charity and be happy in the knowledge that for every blister, ache and pain I suffer, every pound raised could help save a life just like my brother's.[/p][p]Please donate and share my page and together we can help make a difference.[/p][p]Thank you,[/p][p]Susan x[/p]

Share Susan's story

Event

2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

22 Apr 2018

Charity

The Uk Stem Cell Foundation

The Uk Stem Cell Foundation

Supporters

19-Apr-2018

Twin Bro

Hi Twin, as you gave me a 'donation" I've decided to give you a donation right back. I'm still fighting you but not alot. Have a good run, you'll crack it! Take care. Luv James mk2 (Aged 55+ and 3+!)

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

18-Apr-2018

Pete H

Good luck Sue. Will cycle to finish line and meet you lol

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

17-Apr-2018

License to practice

From “ Another Tight GP”

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

14-Apr-2018

Anon

A visitor to the Doctors, good luck Susan, I am sure you be determined to make it to the end.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

12-Apr-2018

Anonymous

All the best You can do WHATEVER you put your mind to XX

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

08-Apr-2018

Derek

Let your dreams run too and dreams will fill the world for you. Love always Dell

£100.00 plus £25.00 Gift Aid

08-Apr-2018

Medinova

Good Luck Susan

£51.00 plus £12.75 Gift Aid

07-Apr-2018

Gill Dave Alex and Liam Rusling

Good luck Susan x

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

06-Apr-2018

Anonymous

Good luck from your local Greggs team

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

02-Apr-2018

Karen and Charlie

go, girl, go. you mad looney!!! experience will be amazing

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid