Northampton man says thanks for life-saving bone marrow op by organising charity ride

Russell Watson, is organising Ride Out with Russ on June 12 to raise money for the Anthony Nolan charity.
Russell Watson, is organising Ride Out with Russ on June 12 to raise money for the Anthony Nolan charity.
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A recovering cancer patient from Northampton is organising his own charity cycling day to thank a blood cancer for finding him a life-saving bone marrow donor.

In September 2012, Russell Watson, then aged 36, went to the doctors displaying what was initially thought as tonsillitis-type symptoms.

Russel Watson is organising Ride out With Russ to thank the Anthony Nolan Trust for helping to find him a stem cell match.

Russel Watson is organising Ride out With Russ to thank the Anthony Nolan Trust for helping to find him a stem cell match.

He was eventually told he had cancer of the blood and needed a stem cell transplant from a total stranger to survive.

Thankfully, a match was found by the charity Anthony Nolan and Mr Watson had the life-saving transplant in July 2013.

Now the maintenance supervisor is recovering well and has decided to help raise funds for Anthony Nolan by organising his own charity cycle ride, Ride out with Russ starting from Brixworth Country Park on June 12.

Mr Watson said: “You can ride whatever bike you like, follow the group or ride at your own pace.

“It will be a great day and an excuse for everyone to enjoy the fantastic Northamptonshire countryside with riders of all abilities.”

Ride Out With Russ has three routes to choose from, a seven mile lap of Pitsford reservoir and a 30 or 55 mile road ride.

Mr Watson says he is still on the road to recovery, having returned to work, is and now slowly getting back to fitness.

But he said he is organising the event to give something back to the charity, which uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients.

He added; “Anthony Nolan has done so much for me and my family and now I want to give something back. Any money raised will help to register more donors like the one who saved me and help fund more vital research into blood cancers.”

And Mr Watson isn’t stopping there. The 40-year-old is also taking on the 100 mile RideLondon event to raise even more funds for Anthony Nolan.

You can find out more by searching for “Ride Out With Russ Anthony Nolan” on Facebook. Information is also available at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/russellwatson where you can sponsor Russell’s RideLondon effort.