Fundraising for blood cancer charity this Christmas

Horizon Construction is supporting a blood cancer charity, MDS UK, by sponsoring the Commercial Director’s father, who, at 83 years of age, will be cycling a total of 400 kilometres before New Year as part of the charity’s “20for20” fundraising challenge.

Our commercial director, Steve Tilley, has a personal connection to MDS UK charity as his father, David, suffers from myelodysplasia (MDS) which is a rare type of blood cancer. The pandemic has had a huge impact on the charity, as like others, with its ability to raise vital funds to support those and their families affected by MDS. The charity is now fighting for its own survival.

This Christmas, the charity launched its “20for20” fundraising campaign. It involves completing one “20” themed challenge a day for 20 days before 31 December.

Being a keen cyclist, David, at 83 years of age, decided to complete a 20-kilometre bike ride, 20 times before the deadline. He has already started his challenge and is enjoying cycling around his local roads.

David explains his medical condition and his experience of accessing support services: “MDS is a rare blood cancer that results from bone-marrow failure. The condition takes a wide range of forms depending on which blood cells (red, white and so on) are affected. I am lucky, you might say, because what I have is neutropenia, a shortage of neutrophils, white cells that are involved in fighting infection. For me, neutropenia is quite manageable with first-rate support from our medical practice and from Colchester Hospital. However, from attending MDS Support Group meetings, the more serious forms of MDS are very difficult and sometimes fatal. The Support Groups, with the backing of MDS UK, play an important part in helping people cope with the physical and emotional difficulties of getting a diagnosis of MDS.”

To support the vital work of MDS UK and to sponsor David’s challenge, Horizon Construction has donated £250.

Steve Tilley said: “I am very proud and in awe of my father for undertaking this incredible and inspiring challenge of cycling 400 kilometres, especially when considering his age and medical condition. Cycling 400 kilometres within the guidelines is a challenge for anyone. The support services of MDS UK are so important to those people who are affected by this rare blood cancer. Cancer has not stopped because of COVID, so I am delighted that Horizon Construction is helping to support the vital work of the charity.”

If you would like to support David in his “20for20” challenge, here is his Just Giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-tilley-20for20

We wish David our very best and will be thinking of him every step or pedal of the way.

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