Marathon challenge for leukaemia patient who defied 5-year life expectancy

08 March 2018

Marathon challenge for leukaemia patient who defied 5-year life expectancy
A patient at Hammersmith Hospital who was given 5 years to live in 2003 after being diagnosed with leukaemia is taking part in the London Marathon to raise money for Imperial Health Charity.

Sam Blood will don her running shoes to join in the iconic challenge as a way of thanking the staff for helping her beat the prognosis.

Sam was diagnosed shortly after becoming pregnant and told to start chemotherapy immediately. Because of her pregnancy, she was deemed a special case and referred to Hammersmith Hospital where they started her on a course of a brand-new drug which has kept her alive ever since.

“I can’t fault the NHS at all, they’ve been amazing,” said Sam. “I’ve had leukaemia for 14 years and this is probably the healthiest I’ve been so I just thought I’d push myself a little bit more to give back to the Hammersmith staff for everything they’ve given me.”

Although the medicine gave her the chance to be there to raise her son, the side effects caused severe joint and bone pain. Fortunately, she discovered an effective way to soothe the pain: running!

“I was talking to a lady in the waiting room one day and she said she’d started running and it helped her with her side effects so I thought I’d give it a go.”

“I started on the treadmill, working my way up from 1k to 2k then 5k and then I saw an advert for a women’s jogging club. I phoned them up, signed up to an 8-week course, started there and now I’m running a marathon!”

Every penny Sam raises will go back to The Blood Fund, the charity’s fundraising campaign to support the haematology department at Hammersmith Hospital. Over the next year the charity is aiming to raise £250,000 to support pioneering research and exceptional care for patients with a wide variety of blood disorders.

If you’d like to sponsor Sam, visit her fundraising page to show your support.