A grandfather whose life was saved by an anonymous bone marrow donor is urging others to consider donating theirs.
It was in January 2008 that Bill Evans was diagnosed with Leukaemia, aged 62, at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
But thanks to the blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan, and a generous man who still to this day Bill does not know, the father-of-two and grandfather-of-four was able to fight the cancer.
Bill, now aged 69 and who lives in Ely, said: “Last weekend I celebrated my five years post transplant. There are no words to express my gratitude.
“Because of Anthony Nolan and the wonderful man who donated his stem cells to me, I’ve been able to see my four lovely grandchildren growing up, my wife and I have celebrated our Ruby wedding anniversary and next year I will be 70.”
Reflecting on the past five years, proud dad Bill says he “wouldn’t be here” without his wife, Jenny, and children Christopher and Catherine, who now works for Anthony Nolan.
“Going through this lifesaving process has made our family more close knit than ever,” said Bill.
“It was tough for everyone, but it was because of them that I was able to keep going – Jenny, Catherine and Christopher were there on every step of my journey.”
Bill’s daughter, Catherine Burlton, who also lives in Ely, now works part-time at Anthony Nolan, supporting donors who save the lives of people like her dad.
She said: “It is a total privilege to be part of Anthony Nolan – without the charity, we wouldn’t have dad, mum wouldn’t have her husband and our children wouldn’t have their grandfather.
“I love the fact that my role is to support our donors post-donation and knowing that at the end of every day someone, somewhere will be undergoing a transplant because of us and what we do – we have given that family the same chance we had.”
Bill said: “My wife Jenny and I are very proud that our wonderful daughter Catherine is now part of the Anthony Nolan team.
“The charity has been helping people like me for 40 years, and it has become very important in my life, but before my diagnosis, I honestly had little idea at that time of the charity’s amazing work. I understand now.”
To help save a life by donating some of your bone marrow, visit www.anthonynolan.org.