Empty Chairs - Richard Moore's Story

Currently, thanks to advances in research and treatments, three out of every four people diagnosed with blood cancer in Northern Ireland survive. Richard Moore is one of those people.

Richard was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in February 2015. He was 46 years old.

At the time of his diagnosis, Richard was training for the London Marathon. With only weeks to go until the race, he was frequently pounding the pavement to prepare his body for the challenge. It was after one long 11-mile run, that he began to experience abdominal cramps whilst at an event with his wife and three young children. 36 hours later the pain hadn’t eased, and after a scan, x-ray and tests at the hospital, the doctor gave him his diagnosis, “Mr. Moore, you have blood cancer.” All Richard could ask himself was, “how could this be happening to me?”

Chemotherapy was immediately scheduled to prepare Richard for a stem cell transplant. This meant he faced a seemingly endless spell in the hospital – something he struggled with. He said: “Boredom and hospital food was a difficult combination for me to sustain. I was guilty of going AWOL from time to time, and having a walk, fish and chips, and a pint. I apologise to all of the excellent staff who had to cope with me!”

Months passed as Richard battled chemo, weeks spent in confinement and finally, his stem cell transplant. It was a grueling, difficult time, but just before Christmas 2015, Richard was able to go home. He was in remission.

He said: “On the first day of my release I managed to walk around the ward, about 100 metres, before falling into a chair to recover. The first day home, I shuffled for half a mile in Holywood’s Seapark, wondering if I would call my wife for a lift home.” It was quite a change for the seasoned runner, who frequently tackled long distances before his diagnosis.

Now, over one year later, Richard’s strength has dramatically improved. He has returned to running and has set himself a new challenge – to run 1,000 miles in 2017 to support our research into blood cancer. Recently Richard suffered an irritating setback when a chest infection and shingles took a turn for the worst and saw him briefly return to the hospital for eight days, but we are pleased to say that he is on the mend and will be continuing on his mission as soon as his health will allow safely. In the mean-time, to donate to Richard’s cause, please click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Richard-Moore1000

Remission is possible for people like Richard thanks to research done by scientists, like those funded by Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI right here in Belfast. They are working hard to develop new and more effective treatments, which mean people like Richard can regain their strength after blood cancer. Richard is a survivor.

We’d love it if you shared Richard’s story and spread the word. Together, we can help reduce the number of empty chairs created by blood cancer.

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