BY TOBY PORTER
A client manager has donated his stem cells to save his dad’s life – and raised £2,500 for the charity which helped them both through the ordeal by running a triathlon.
Liall Medina, 25, from Herne Hill, recently took part in the London Triathlon, raising £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support as a thank you following the support the charity gave him and his family.
Liall felt he wanted to give something back after his father John Medina, 62, was treated for life-threatening acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and received emotional support via Macmillan’s telephone support line.
When John was diagnosed with blood cancer in March 2015, he went through treatment including chemotherapy, and an operation to remove a 12cm tumour on his chest.
In 2018, he was then diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, which meant his body struggled to make red blood cells, and he required a stem cell transplant.
Liall played his part in supporting his father by donating his own stem cells twice when the procedure was unsuccessful on the first occasion.
The surgeons described the success of the second operation, which took place last January, as a miracle.
Liall said: “We couldn’t believe it. The consultant actually phoned dad to say that it was a miracle and could not have worked better – it was such a happy moment and so overwhelming. They usually wait to see patients face to face to deliver the news.”
Then, in June this year following a scan John received the news he’d been waiting for – he was in remission.
Liall says: “It took a few days for the good news to sink in. When I decided to sign up to the triathlon this year my parents suggested I do it for Macmillan after all the support they received during dad’s treatment.
“Now, I’ve raised over £2,500. It feels amazing to be able to help Macmillan support the growing number of people living with cancer in the UK.”
Around 150 participants took part in the Triathlon on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support, with the aim to raise approximately £80,000.
Liall took part in the London Triathlon as part of #TeamMacmillan.
To find a challenge to suit you, visit: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising-events