This book was originally destined for family and close friends, but the reaction has been such that it might find a wider readership.

To this end, together with my wife Lin, I decided to print a further number of copies to be sold as a donation to the MDS UK Patient Support Group as my small contribution towards their fundraising.

I am not an author and I have never had any help or guidance in writing this work, so it may seem very unpolished to some.

Stay with it. Enjoy the journey.

Ron Holder, 11th January 2020

Twice A Refugee book cover

“Twice A Refugee” - an extraordinary book by Ron Holder, tells his gripping, factual account of being a refugee twice in his life. The incredible, poignant social history is testament to Ron's strong character and self-belief.

Ron was born to devout Christian missionary parents in China during WWII. The family fled the advancing Japanese army by flying over the Himalayas in an unpressurised cargo plane by the US Airforce, arriving in India as refugees. Placed in a boarding school at age just 4 1/2 so his parents could continue their missionary work in China, his childhood became one of bitterness and resentment.

At just 15, Ron was taken to The Belgian Congo to learn about his parents' religious devotion and commitment. 4 years of adventure, which culminated in The Congo's Independence and its descent into civil war, resulted in Ron becoming a refugee again. These years of self-reliance equipped Ron better than any academic qualification could have.

Ron was diagnosed in May 2018 with the rarer blood cancer ‘Myelodysplastic Syndromes’ (MDS), which later transformed to Aplastic Anaemia and caused his death in January 2020. Both these conditions are bone marrow failure diseases and can overlap. He wished to see the book in print, with all proceeds benefiting the charity and patient support group MDS UK.

Both Ron and his wife Lin had become regular members and supporters of the Kent MDS Support Unit.

Ron sadly lost his battle with Aplastic Anaemia in January 2020. His beloved wife, Lin Holder said: “The focus since his diagnosis in May 2018 was to finish this book and to see it in print. He achieved this in August 2019 and was delighted with the feedback he received from those who had read it so far. Hope you enjoy it too.”

Both Ron's loving wife Lin and MDS UK hope you enjoy this remarkable story as much as Ron enjoyed writing it. It really is a wonderful read, and a bargain at £12.00 plus P+P!

To order your copy:

  • Please email Jan Edwards (MDS UK's Fundraising Officer) on
  • Please include your postal address
  • P+P costs have increased slightly as of January 2021, so we will reply to your enquiry with the exact cost of P+P based on your location.
  • Then simply donate the suggested sum on the book’s JustGiving page and we will mail you the book

You can of course also donate without purchasing the book if you wish! Many thanks if you choose to do so

MDS UK is the only charity solely dedicated to helping those with Myelodysplastic Syndromes and their loved ones through pioneering research, a helpline, specialist speakers and more. We are a small charity that needs your support!

MDS is a blood cancer and bone marrow failure disease. Approx 2500 patients are diagnosed every year with MDS in the UK. The causes are mostly unknown and the average age at diagnosis is around 74 years old. Aplastic Anaemia shares features of this disease, but can affect patients at much younger ages too. Symptoms of severe unusual fatigue or repeated odd blood counts results are some of the signs to watch out for, and require further investigation by haematologists. Please always consult your GP in good time.
More information on MDS and ways to contribute:

MDS UK would like to thank Ron Holder, who was determined to raise vital funds for us despite his illness. You’re an inspiration and are sorely missed! We would also like to thank Lin for helping to publish the book and for remaining a vital part of our fundraising community.

Visit our Donations Gallery

Free donations by shopping