I’m a teacher from Accrington whose battled cancer and now I’m taking on a marathon!

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This teacher has fought against cancer and is ready to tackle his first marathon!

A 56-year-old piano teacher from Accrington, is gearing up to participate in a marathon after battling a form of cancer.

David Battersby will be running the Windermere Marathon on Saturday May 18, to raise funds for The Christie Charity.

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David, who now lives in Milnthorpe in South Cumbria, was diagnosed with refractory Acute Myeloid Leukaemia back in 2005.

David Battersby by Derwent WaterDavid Battersby by Derwent Water
David Battersby by Derwent Water | The Christie Charity

This form of Leukaemia is a type of blood cancer that starts from young white blood cells in the bone marrow.

Speaking about being treated by The Christie Charity, David said: “Having been an inpatient at the hospital for over 18 months, I saw the work and dedication of every member of staff and the care and support that we all received was a very large piece of the jigsaw puzzle in my treatment and recovery. 

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After needing a stem cell bone marrow transplant, The Chritstie helped David undergo the procedure in May 2006.

“It wasn’t just me; my wife Rachel, her parents Gareth and Chris Ball, and my late mother, Margaret were all given tremendous support from The Christie.

“Having access to the latest treatments or trials and also things like the complementary therapies helped to keep me positive and keep me going during the long weeks in hospital.

“The chances of my making a long-term recovery were very small but as the days, months and eventually years went by, with the amazing care and help and guidance of everyone on the haematology unit, I am still here and living a full life!”

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David after completing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.David after completing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.
David after completing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge. | The Christie Charity

Inspired by his own experience, David wanted to give back to the hospital that played a pivotal role in his recovery. 

He has previously raised funds for The Christie Charity through various challenges, including the Yorkshire Three Peaks and, since lockdown, David has embraced running and participated in various trail races in the Lake District, including two half marathons. 

Now, he is ready to tackle his first marathon – his biggest challenge to date.

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He said: “It felt only natural to me to go from half to a full marathon and it will be all on roads around Windermere that I am very familiar with. It’s also easy to get to and that it’s on a date that I can do without it affecting my music concerts and work commitments.

Alicia Gaffey, Sporting Events Co-ordinator at The Christie Charity said: “David has been such a brilliant fundraiser for The Christie Charity in recent years. We wish him all the very best of luck with his biggest running challenge to date, the Windemere Marathon.”

To support the work of The Christie Charity, please go to Donate today christie.nhs.uk.

You can support David’s fundraiser on his JustGiving page.

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