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03 Oct 2021

Alastair Day and Jacqui Avola are running the London Marathon for MDS UK!

When is this event::

Date: October 3


London Marathon
London, SE10 8QY United Kingdom + Google Map
Nick Summers / London Marathon / CC BY-SA 2.0

We feel so blessed to have two runners on the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 3 October 2021!

Both Alastair and Jacqui are running the actual marathon – not the virtual one, which is an incredible achievement. It is close to impossible for small charities like us to get new places at the Virgin London Marathon, hence we need to rely on ballot places.

Alastair is an unstoppable supporter of MDS UK. He is an MDS patient himself and continued fundraising for us even during the pandemics.

Alastair says:

"Thanks to everybody who supported me in 2020 when we raised over £1,500 against my running target of 4,000km.  2020 was disappointing since all events were cancelled...

I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome in late 2016 and am currently in a low risk category with regular blood checks and luckily no intervention or drugs.

Since many patients are far worse off than me, I am trying to raise more money in 2021 to add to charity funds, increase awareness and support sufferers of MDS. Now more than ever, the MDS needs funding since many charity and running events have been cancelled, so please donate any amount to help the MDS UK Patient Support Group - £2, £5, £10"

Jacqui Avola is also an old friend. She was planning to run two full marathons to raise money for our charity when the world was turned upside-down by Covid-19.

Jacqui explains the reasons why she choose to fundraise for us:

On the 2nd July 2014 my Dad was diagnosed with MDS. Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) are a group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow do not mature and therefore do not become healthy blood cells.

On the 4th October 2015 my Dad was fit and healthy enough to receive a bone marrow transplant. Throughout this period of time I tried to carry on with life and pretend it wasn't happening, everything with my Dad was a bit of blur and I ended up making some pretty life changing decisions myself, life is precious and can be too short.  My Dad is my ultimate hero, he is ALWAYS there for me no matter what and there is NOTHING he wouldn't do for me.

MDS UK Patient Support Group is a charity based at Kings College in London. They provide networking for people newly diagnosed, where experiences can be shared with others that are suffering the same illness. A contact line is set up and help is provided, invaluable for people needing to understand medical terminology and prognosis.

They provide national patient and family information meetings on a regional basis, along with many other amazing things.

Please support this fantastic charity and follow me on my journey.

We are immensely grateful to Jacqui and Alastair for thinking of us, and to their friends and family for their generosity which will make a great difference to patients.

You can also make a significant difference to our small charity. MDS UK does not get London Marathon places – and relies on runners with ballot places. Please enter the ballot for next year and consider running for MDS UK. 

All the money we get goes to assist patients and families with information, support and advice.

  • An hour on the helpline to newly diagnosed patients makes such a difference in most situations.
  • Our information meetings are the next step – to help patients cope with making more sense of the medical journey they are on.
  • Our local meetings help with the ongoing emotional support that is often needed.

All of this requires time and funds. Please enter the ballot and run for us! Every single runner will be absolutely worshipped!

With your help – we can help.

Many thanks from the MDS UK Team

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