Cyclist crosses America for charity that saved mum's life

An Edinburgh man is gearing up to cycle across America to raise cash for the charity that saved his mother's life.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th August 2018, 8:36 am
Micah Stanbridge with his mother Sheena, who received a bone marrow transplant thanks to the Anthony Nolan Trust
Micah Stanbridge with his mother Sheena, who received a bone marrow transplant thanks to the Anthony Nolan Trust

Micah Stanbridge, will cycle from the West to East Coast of America to raise money for Anthony Nolan.

The 35-year-old will cycle over 4000 miles across America, in a bid to raise over £15,000 for the blood cancer charity, after they found a lifesaving stem cell donor for his mum in 2006.

Sheena McCurrach, an artist, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in 1998.

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After eight years of chemotherapy, she was given four months to live and told that she urgently required new stem cells from a stranger to rebuild her immune system so she could fight infection and disease.

Anthony Nolan found a stem cell donor with ten matching genes that would help Sheena’s body to accept the donor’s cells.

In 2006, Sheena received her lifesaving transplant. And five years later she met her lifesaving donor, Mark Quinn, and thanked him for saving her life.

After his mum’s recovery, Micah sadly lost a close friend in 2012 to blood cancer. Tom died at the age of 30 after a matching stem cell donor couldn’t be found.

Micah, a photographer, admits that he hadn’t heard of Anthony Nolan before his mum’s diagnosis, and it was only when he knew she needed a stem cell transplant that he realised the battle she faced.

“I will always feel a sense of debt towards Anthony Nolan for saving my mum’s life. Seeing her fight through the physical and emotional pain of fighting cancer, a stem cell transplant, and then remission, is a something I will never forget.

“Tom’s loss, after my mum’s survival, was extremely difficult to take. It was perhaps instrumental in my forming a deep association with Anthony Nolan.” Micah will cycle west to east coast, setting off in Astoria, Oregon on September 2, and cycle 4228 miles across America, finishing in Yorktown, Virginia just over a month later.

When speaking about his mother, he said: ‘It is an incredible testament to her inner strength and resolve that she survived through the sickness and uncertainty and is not only still with us but thriving and enjoying life today.

‘I offer my support to Anthony Nolan through fundraising and awareness in the hope that one day, every life with a blood disorder can be saved.”

Kirsty Mooney, Head of Community and Events at Anthony Nolan, said: “We are so amazed by Micah’s incredible challenge and his commitment to raising money and awareness for Anthony Nolan – and we’ll be cheering him on every pedal of his journey. Every pound Micah raises will help us ensure that people in desperate need, like Sheena, are able to have that potentially lifesaving transplant from a stranger.’