Why I’m running the Big Half – Arthur’s Story
In 2002, Arthur Tua was diagnosed with blood disease polycythaemia, a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), which transformed to a bone marrow disorder in 2012.
In March 2018, Arthur will be taking on the Vitality Big Half marathon to raise funds for MPN Voice, the information and advocacy group, which was a huge source of help for him following his initial diagnosis.
MPN Voice provides information for patients affected by the rare group of blood cancers.
After his diagnosis, Arthur’s health deteriorated very rapidly and in June 2013, he underwent a successful stem cell transplant. He unfortunately relapsed in May 2016, which saw his health deteriorate even faster.
This led to treatment in the form of donor lymphocyte infusions between July 2016 and December 2016, which enabled him to make a return to full health; by spring 2017, Arthur started to feel well.
Running to recover
As part of his recovery, he was advised to start walking and having been a long-distance runner in the past he quickly shifted up a gear. By the late summer he was running up to 8k, two or three times a week.
Arthur says: ‘My friends encouraged me to enrol for a local 10k run, which I did. They were also pushing me to go back to running a half-marathon.’
MPN Voice offered support
Throughout his diagnosis and treatment, MPN Voice was always a useful point of reference and source of solace for Arthur.
He says, ‘I wanted to return something small to MPN Voice and to hopefully provide encouragement to other people with the same condition. If I was going to run a half-marathon, I said I would run it in London and do it to help MPN Voice.’
You can support Arthur’s ambitious fundraising target here. Find out how you can take on your own challenge to support Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital too! If you have your own place in the Big Half and you'd like to run for us, you're welcome to join our team.