Save a Life campaign: cancer sufferer Tony lends his support

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A FAMILY from Gosberton have found out first-hand the importance of life-saving blood transfusions and treatments.

Cancer patient Tony Lawrence and his wife Heather, of Belchmire Lane, are now calling for more people to put themselves forward as donors in support of the Lincolnshire Free Press’ Save a Life campaign.

Tony (54) has undergone blood transfusions, stem cell transplants and chemotherapy since he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007, a cancer found in plasma cells in bone marrow.

Heather (50) explained: “It started out as a poorly ankle and we thought he had hurt himself jumping out of his lorry cab or doing our kitchen.

“He was a lorry driver but by December 2006 he could not push the clutch in.”

Two months later Tony had been diagnosed and started treatment almost immediately.

Scans showed Tony had been walking around with a fractured leg as a result of the cancer.

“At first, I thought the doctor said melanoma, skin cancer, because Tony is a sun devil and loves the sun,” said Heather. “I had never heard of myeloma before.

“It normally affects the elderly and it was a shock to everyone, even the doctors.”

Myeloma is treatable but not curable. It took Tony almost a year to recover from the treatments.

In October 2009 a routine check up found he had relapsed and he has been through another round of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant since.

He is now in remission.

Heather, who suffers from ME, said: “It makes you want to say to people how important it is to give blood, not only for blood transplants but also for platelets and some donors may be compatible to give stem cells and bone marrow.

“You do not realise how important it is until you are in this kind of situation and you see how valuable it is.”

This year, for their 25th wedding anniversary, the couple are asking friends and family to donate money towards myeloma research rather than gifts.

l We want to know why you support the Save a Life campaign.

Tell us your story by contacting Sharon Pell on sharon.pell@jpress.co.uk or 01775 765412, or Tracey Sweetland on tracey.sweetland@jpress.co.uk or 01775 765416.