Starting on the 5th January 2020 I will be running 1 kilometre for every week in the year, for each week that passes an additional kilometre will be added e.g in week 1 I'll run 1km and in week 52 I'll run 52km. I will be attempting this with a friend who is raising money for Dementia UK.

Please take time to read my family's story below.

In October of 2013, my younger brother was diagnosed with 'Severe Aplastic Anaemia'. Having started as rash on his legs thought to be a viral infection, as clarified by a blood test, the GP requested fortnightly blood tests to monitor the infection. The second round of blood tests displayed a decline in all cell counts, requiring the test to be redone over the next few days. The results of this next test were alarming. That evening my parents received a phone call telling them to pack a bag and go straight to the hospital. They were told Morgan had zero immunity and needed immediate hospitalisation and isolation to reduce the risk of contracting any illness. As I closed the front door, after my parents and little brother had driven away, I broke down. Alone and afraid of what the outcome would be I was inconsolable. That was the beginning of the worst years of our lives.

The following day, after school my dad picked me up and drove me to the hospital. He explained that he returned home in the early hours of the morning, while my mum stayed overnight, to get a minor amount of sleep before heading back to the hospital before lunchtime. My dad is normally chilled, easy going man and if anything phases him it is very rarely displayed on the exterior. That day was first time in my life that I had seen him scared, regardless of how he tried to hide it to remain strong for the rest of us, but we all were. None of us could be prepared for what the doctors were going to say.

When the words "Leukaemia" or "Aplastic Anaemia" are said, everything you thought mattered in life suddenly doesn't. Your phones, TV's, PlayStation's - all become the meaningless inanimate objects that they are. You realise how much family means and begin to replay all the times in your head that you'd taken it for granted or the pointless arguments that had gone to far and you say something you don't mean. I wouldn't say my brother and I are two peas in a pod, we'll sometimes go a couple weeks without speaking, but we've always been close no matter what. When the doctors said he could have Leukaemia i was distraught, Aplastic Anaemia was lost in my mind as like many others I'd never even heard of it.

He was transferred to the 'Teenage Cancer Trust' ward at University College Hospital London, where after a few days of tests, it was confirmed and he was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anaemia (total bone marrow failure) - a rare life threatening condition that is just a deadly as Leukaemia.
We were told a sibling bone marrow transplant was the best option, it is a 1 in 4 chance but after being tested for a match unfortunately it wasn't to be.

Having spent nearly 2 years of daily medication, weekly blood tests, transfusions, alternative treatments and even questioning his own mortality my little brother remained the strongest out of all of us. Never once complaining or looking for sympathy he always found the lighter side of a situation and brought a bit of brightness to an otherwise very dark situation.

Thankfully, 6 years on I am thankful to say that Morgan is in good form and thriving in life. Having finished his A -Levels this year and landing himself an apprenticeship, i cannot begin to explain how proud I am to call him my brother.

Thanks to the research done by the Aplastic Anaemia Trust an alternative treatment that worked for my brother was found and he is down to 6 monthly check ups to monitor his levels and ensure he stays healthy.

Anything you can give to this cause will be greatly appreciated and will go towards helping countless other of all ages in the same situation as Morgan. Jack Teichman