AN athlete who survived cancer is getting ready to go for gold at the British Transplant Games.

Lindsey Blackburn, 36, from Middlesbrough, had a lifesaving stem cell transplant, more than a decade ago after being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma - a type of blood cancer.

 She is competing at the games in Leeds this summer in the three kilometre road race, the 1500 metres and the four by 100 metre relay, and hopes to qualify to represent Team GB at the World Transplant Games.

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Lindsey, who was 22 when she was diagnosed with the cancer, left hospital fully in 2019 and learned she was eligible for the games.

She said: “I had always been fit and well and very active. After treatment, it was a long road to recovery - at times, I didn’t even have the energy to make a cup of tea.

“The goal of taking part in these Games gave me the opportunity and focus I needed to help aid my recovery; build my fitness and show the world that there is life after cancer, thanks to the wonders of stem cell donation.”

She has been sponsored by housebuilder Linden Homes, which wanted to make a donation in memory of a colleague Ross Sanderson, who had a stem cell transplant but died in 2019, aged 30, due to complications associated with a rare primary immune deficiency, known as CVID.

The Northern Echo:

Dave Brown, managing director with Vistry Partnerships and Linden Homes in the North East, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Lindsey on her journey to the British Transplant Games and to be raising awareness of a subject that is very close to the hearts of those who knew and worked with Ross. He was a well thought of and highly respected member of the team as well as being an incredible, affable and positive person - with one of the biggest smiles I’ve seen.

“Although the condition Ross lived with was very different to that of Lindsey, who has battled cancer, it shows how vital these treatments – and finding matching donors – is to the lives of people dealing with a range of very different illnesses.”

The Northern Echo:


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