21 June 2017
A dedicated husband will go the distance to mark his wife’s blood cancer journey whilst raising awareness and funds to thank the charities that helped save her life.
On 4 June Patrick Byrnes, 45, from Warrington, Cheshire, will cycle the Tour de Manc, an open road, 100-mile ride travelling through all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.
Patrick’s wife, Nicola, 47, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, in June 2015, she faced months of chemotherapy, at The Christie, Manchester, to get her into remission, so she could receive a blood stem cell transplant – which was her only lifesaving option.
The blood cancer charity, DKMS, found a blood cell stem donor match from Germany and in March 2016 Nicola received her transplant, at the Haematology and Transplant Unit, at the hospital.
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 who has been married to Nicola for three years and will be doing the challenge with his friend Tom Beech, 37, from Monton, Salford.
Miguel Leon, Head of Fundraising at DKMS said: “We are dedicated to 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 sign up to the DKMS register and we wish Patrick the best of luck with the challenge.”
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can register to become a potential lifesaver. Please join the DKMS register today by visiting dkms.org.uk/en/register-now
If you would like to support Patrick’s chosen charities, you can make a donation by visiting: mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ridefornicola