Teenager raises £150,000 to repay his bone marrow transplant!

Andrew Davies, 20, has completed his mission to raise £150,000 to pay back the hospital which saved his life six years ago.

Spurred on by his gratitude for the care he received, Andrew’s fundraising journey has spanned over five years, taken in an array of sporting challenges, gala balls and over 500 individual donations.

Andrew was just 13 years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in September 2012. The aggressive form of cancer is caused by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood.

The teenager began chemotherapy which caused sickness, hair loss, bleeding and bruising. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in January 2013, spending 25 days in isolation.

The care he received at Sheffield Children’s Hospital ensured that within three months Andrew could resume his life once again and was able to return to school.

Within a month of his original diagnosis, concerned friends and family eager to help in any way they could began raising money in Andrew’s name.

Upon his recovery, driven by his gratitude for the care he received and the conviction that the environment could be improved for others in a similar situation, he poured his energy into the fundraising initiated in his name.

Soon after, Andrew pledged to raise £150,000, which was the cost of his life-saving bone marrow transplant to the NHS. The fundraising was split evenly between leukaemia research and the Cancer Ward.

“I’ve had fantastic support from so many people. Friends and family have ran marathons, held gala balls and raised money in lieu of presents. It’s been incredible”. Andrew said.

Andrew’s Fundraising highlights:

  • A 215 mile coast-to-coast cycle with his brother James from Liverpool to Skegness, raising over £4,000.
  • A ’20-16’ sports event at Lady Manners School in Bakewell, featuring 20 activities and over 830 students across 16 hours, which raised over £8,500.
  • Walking the Dales Way, an 81-mile trail from Ilkey in West Yorkshire to Browness-on-Windermere in Cumbria with six friends, raising over £4,000.

The Children’s Hospital Charity has launched a £2.75m appeal to transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, with more space, privacy and natural light.

“I’m delighted that my fundraising will be making a contribution to the new appeal and help make sure the facilities match the excellent care of the ward. Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a phenomenal place and I really don’t know what would have happened to me had I not been treated there, which is a scary thought”. Andrew added.

“I was a teenager but I still had a family member stay by my side almost every night I was in hospital. It was really comforting to have that option, even at that age. Space for them to stay comfortably by their child on the ward will make a huge difference.”

“Renovating the surroundings will make a huge difference too. With The Children’s Hospital Charity funding the project, we can go beyond the standard NHS provision”. Andrew continued.

“Clinical spaces can be daunting and I know it affected the younger patients while I was there. If you could walk in and see brightly-coloured walls and a calming environment, it would take the stress out of treatment and allow patients and parents to solely focus on their recovery”.

Cheryl Davidson, Community Fundraising Manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity said: “We’ve recently launched our biggest-ever fundraising appeal, and a renovated cancer ward has never been more needed as we strive to build a better future for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“Andrew’s incredible efforts will make a huge difference to young patients from across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire, who depend on the ward’s incredible care.”

John Somers, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust added: “Andrew has done an amazing job of fundraising for the hospital, we are so grateful of all the time and effort he has put in to supporting our work here at Sheffield Children’s.

“Our staff are amazing, providing specialist care with compassion every day and with the latest charity funded facilities we can go even further to help children both locally and nationally.”