Aplastic Anaemia is a very rare bone marrow condition that only affects 2 in every 1 million people. It means that the bone marrow is failing and therefore not producing any new red and white blood cells and platelets required. The main cure would be for a stem cell/bone marrow transplant. Our son, Thomas was diagnosed with this condition at the age of 8 in May 2021. It meant Thomas was having blood and platelet transfusions every 2/3 days at Manchester Children’s hospital for quite a few months at the beginning of his journey and also had to be admitted into hospital for at least 48 hours anytime his temperature reached 38 degrees. Thomas also was unable to do any sort of activity whereby he risked getting hurt and had to stop swimming which was his favourite thing to do. Despite this, he has been amazingly courageous and brave and taken everything thrown at him in his stride throughout. Thomas was unable to find a match for a stem cell transplant on the bone marrow register so had to have an immunosuppressive treatment called ATG (made by injecting horses with white blood cells from humans whereby the horse produces antibodies which are purified to make the ATG) in July 2021. Thomas has had a partial response to this treatment so although certainly not out of the woods yet, his blood and platelet counts are much higher and he is not having to have regular transfusions at the moment. The Aplastic Anaemia Trust are there to support families of any loved ones diagnosed with this rare condition and being so rare, naturally do not receive as much as some other larger charities may do. I therefore chose to put myself through the rigours of running the London Marathon as a way to give something back for all the help and information we have had from everyone throughout Thomas’ journey and to help raise some funds for the Trust. Thank you so much for all your love and support in the last 12 months and also to anyone that has joined the bone marrow or blood donor register in our quest for getting people to do so.

Warren Smith