Marathon man Russell aids life-saving charity
Runner wants to help fellow blood cancer sufferers
A MAN who ran three marathons after more than 350 blood and platelet transfusions and three bone marrow transplants is joining a campaign to raise funds for rare blood cancers.
Russell Cook, of Gerrards Cross Road, Stoke Poges, raised awareness for blood cancer by completing marathons in Rome, London and Edinburgh earlier this year.
Mr Cook was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a rare form of blood cancer, in June 2009 after suffering from extreme fatigue and bruising.
He was then diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow disorder, in November 2009, and the only cure was a bone marrow transplant.
He had two unsuccessful transplants, but the third one, from son Luke, 15, in 2010, was a success. Now he is campaigning to get more people to raise funds for the charity that supported him.
He said: “After my efforts at running this year I wanted to become a more permanent part of a charity that supports the patients and carers of MDS – the illness that nearly killed me.”
Mr Cook has offered to help raise funds for MDS UK and is appealing to businesses to sign up as sponsors.
He is also looking for people who already have ballot places in big races to run for MDS.
Mr Cook added: “Initially, I’d like to track down any runners that get ballot places in next year’s London Marathon and ask them to run for MDS UK.
“I’ve approached a number of running forums but to no avail and at the moment the only runner we’ll have will be my daughter.
“MDS is a debilitating and life-threatening blood disorder and MDS UK provides help and support to patients and their carers in a way that doctors and medical staff simply don’t have time to do.”
If you would like to help, email russell.cook5@btopen world.com.
FUNDRAISING: Russell Cook with wife Susan