Former leukaemia sufferer shortlisted for award after supporting poorly patients on online forum

Steve Hartley.
Steve Hartley.

A Northampton construction project manager, has been shortlisted for a national award for his work as an online community champion supporting blood cancer patients.

Steve Hartley, 51, of Grange Park is nominated for the Patient Champion of the Year Award at this year’s Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards (ANSAs), and will be recognised for his work supporting others in need.

Steve was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2012 and received a life-saving stem-cell transplant in January 2013 at Leicester Royal Infirmary after being told it would give him a second chance of life.

Since 2014 Steve has used his experience to help others by regularly contributing to Anthony Nolan’s Patient and Families forum. The forum is a popular service where patients and family members can talk about their concerns, fears and achievements with others, like Steve, who have lived through transplant.

Steve has become a regular contributor and answers people's queries in a reassuring way. He said: “Even if it’s something I don’t have direct experience with I try to think of something that’s helpful and comforting - you often get a message back, such as ‘it’s good to know I’m not alone.

“The main reason I log on is to help reassure people that what they are experiencing is not necessarily unusual. The forum gives people the opportunity to ask ‘why is it happening to me?’ and, more often than not, it has happened to someone else and they can help.”

Henny Braund, chief executive at Anthony Nolan said Steve has provided vital support for many patients and has reassured them that they are not alone.

He said: “He openly shares many aspects of his transplant experience to benefit others in an honest and insightful way and is clearly dedicated to helping others. He has truly gone above and beyond in his support for Anthony Nolan and we’re grateful for everything he has done.

“This year’s awards will be a fitting occasion to bring Steve and our wonderful supporters together and thank them for helping us to save the lives of three people every day.”

The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, November 28 in the House of Commons, where winners will be announced at the event.