A city blood specialist is gearing up for his first ever ironman challenge to raise vital cash to support a major Sheffield Hospitals Charity appeal.
Robert Jones, aged 37, from Wincobank, is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds to continue groundbreaking new research into fighting myeloma – a bone marrow cancer for which there is currently no cure.
Robert, a laboratory scientist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s Haematology and Coagulation Department, had set himself the target of completing a notorious ironman challenge before he turns 40. He will complete his fundraising challenge in Bolton in July.
He said: “Working at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, I know how crucial fundraising activities are to improving patient care. In the past I’ve taken part in a skydive, the Brownlee triathlon and various running events for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
“This year I wanted to push myself further, so I set myself the challenge of an ironman, which will involve completing a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride and a 26 mile marathon, without a break.
“It’s an extreme event which many people talk about doing but few actually pursue it. It’s a lifetime ambition, and by doing it I hope I can raise vital funds for the anti-myeloma virus project which has made a huge breakthrough so far, but needs £90,000 to continue.”
Symptoms of myeloma include bone pain, fractures, fatigue, anaemia, kidney damage, infections and hypercalcaemia. Treatment is aimed at disease control, relieving the complications and symptoms it causes, and extending and improving the quality of patients’ lives.
Dr Andrew Chantry, haematology consultant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and his team of researchers has been working on the ‘anti-myeloma virus project’, which has the potential to completely eliminate myeloma – finally leading to a cure.
The project has used a genetically engineered virus to target and kill the cancerous myeloma cells without affecting healthy cells. The results have been incredible. After just two days of being introduced to the virus, myeloma cells were reduced by half and after four days, they had gone.
But the team needs £90,000 to continue the research over the next three years, prompting Sheffield Hospitals Charity’s appeal to raise the funds.
To sponsor Robert, text ROBJ52 £amount to 70070, or to donate funds directly for myeloma research, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/curemyeloma