Simon’s Warwick half-marathon efforts to raise awareness...and cash

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Watch out for 49-year-old Simon Perkin as he runs the Warwick half-marathon tomorrow (Sun), accompanied by his wife Jane.

To look at him you’d never know that Simon has been given not one, but two bone marrow transplants, and at one stage was not expected to see 50.

Now along with Jane, he is determined to raise money - and awareness - of the Anthony Nolan Trust which led to him being lucky enough to find two bone marrow donors and going on to live as near normal a life as possible.

And certainly a super-fit life.

As well as competing in the Warwick race, Simon will also be running in the Leamington Wright Hassell ten kilometres on April 6 and then in the London Marathon on April 13.

He said: “I very much want to give something back as a way of saying thanks not only to King’s College, London, where I had my successful second transplant in July, 2012, but also to the doctors and nurses in the Aylesford unit at Warwick Hospital and at the town’s Priory Medical Centre.

“All of these skilled people are unsung heroes in my book.”

Simon was first diagnosed with aplastic anaemia in 1991 when doctors told his parents he was unlikely to live very long.

Despite that he went on to compete in no less than seven London Marathons, married Jane Senior, who is a litigation lawyer, and become a father to their rugby-playing 13-year-old son Edward.

It was through the Bone Marrow register, set up in memory of the late Anthony Nolan who died 40 years ago this year, that Simon was linked up with his first donor.

Unfortunately, that transplant was not a success. A few months later Simon got a second chance, with bone marrow from a donor in Germany.

Naturally he’s keen to encourage even more people to put their names forward as potential donors of stem cells or bone marrow.

“All they need to do is register their interest and they will be sent a do-it-yourself swab kit in the post,” explains Simon.

“It simple to take a cotton bud sample from your mouth and then send it back to the trust to be entered on their database.

“To give stem cells is no harder than giving blood - it just takes a little longer. To give bone marrow usually requires a general anaesthetic and a night or two in hospital - but a normal person will make up the lost marrow in no time,” says Simon, who once spent 118 days in virtual isolation to guard against infection.

“There are so many people out there who are waiting every day for a match - and a particular shortage of donors from ethnic minority groups.”

To register donors are ideally aged between 18 and 40 and in good general health.

So far Simon, who lives in Warwick and used to teach at Kineton High School, has raised thousands of pounds for charity. To find out more or to sponsor any of his future efforts visit uk/ perkinanthonynolantrust