Team National is made up of Kat, Adi and Alex who have collectively volunteered with Marrow for 16 years during their time at university. All three sit on the National Marrow committee, which develops and supports the Marrow programme. Sadly, they will graduate this year and as their time with Marrow comes to an end they wanted to go out with a bang by running the London Marathon for Anthony Nolan.
Alex, why did you get involved with Marrow at university?
‘Marrow is something that I knew I wanted to be part of before I even got to university.
‘It was the one society that I definitely knew I wanted to join at the freshers’ fair, and I’m so glad that I did.
‘I first heard about Anthony Nolan when I was eight. My mum was diagnosed with myelodysplasia and I soon learnt that she would need a bone marrow transplant.
‘Being so young, I had no idea what this involved, but I knew that we had to wait for her donor.
‘At the time, I couldn’t understand why we were waiting, all I could think is ‘what are they doing? Where are they? How much longer do they need?’
‘I didn’t realise that a match did not yet exist, and I didn’t know that time was running out.
‘But amazingly, Anthony Nolan were searching and they didn’t stop searching until they found a near enough matching donor for my mum.
‘We’re now 14 years on from my mum’s transplant, and although it was a rocky road to recovery, she is now well and loving life!
‘I got involved with Marrow as I know how devastating cancer can be to a family, but how amazing it is to be able to fight it back.
‘I wanted to be part of something that gives other families hope that they can get through this and beat blood cancer.’
Adi, what do you do within Marrow?
‘This year I am Expansion Coordinator, so I help set up new groups at universities that currently don’t have a group.
‘I’ve been involved with Marrow for a long time; I’ve been on my university group’s committee and now I’m on my fourth year on the national committee.
‘Along with Kat and Alex I thought that having done so much with Marrow, and as we are leaving this year, it was time for us to do something big!’
Kat, how is training and fundraising for the Marathon going?
‘Training is going as well as can be expected – we’ve all been very busy with exams and deadlines as we’re in our final year of uni but we made sure to find time to go out running.
‘Of course, we’ve had all the usual aches and pains, blisters and chafing!
Kirsty Low, Head of Events at Anthony Nolan, said: ‘Our Marrow groups do an amazing job and we’re so grateful to have had Alex, Adi and Kat volunteering with us over the years.
‘Running the London Marathon is a huge achievement and the money that Team National raise will help us add more potential donors to the stem cell register, giving people with blood cancer a second chance at life.’
Visit Team National’s JustGiving page to sponsor them: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Marrow