Bromsgrove cancer survivor using pedal power on fundraising challenge to meet his donor

CYCLING CHALLENGE: Bromsgrove cancer survivor Jonjo Rooney is taking part in a 500 mile cycling challenge to Germany, where he will be meeting his bone marrow donor. SP

CYCLING CHALLENGE: Bromsgrove cancer survivor Jonjo Rooney is taking part in a 500 mile cycling challenge to Germany, where he will be meeting his bone marrow donor. SP

First published in Local

A BROMSGROVE cancer survivor is preparing to push himself to the limit on his latest fundraiser, an epic cycling challenge.

And at the end of the 500 mile challenge, Jonjo Rooney will be meeting his bone marrow donor.

Jonjo was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December 2006 and although he underwent many months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, he required a stem cell transplant to save his life.

In July 2007, a stem cell donor match was found in Hamelin, Germany, following a worldwide search by the Anthony Nolan charity. The transplant then went ahead at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

He responded well and the 30-year-old has now been in remission for seven years, during which time he has become an active fundraiser.

Jonjo is cycling from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham to Hamelin, in Germany, for his latest challenge - which he has named Hero of Hamelin.

He is raising money for blood cancer charities Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Anthony Nolan and Bpositive - the charity Jonjo set up to help bring together those affected by acute leukaemia.

The challenge begins on Saturday, September 6, and on the route he is being joined by five other cyclists.

One of them is Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and BPositive Trustee John Reeve, who lost his son Tim to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2005.

Jonjo said: "This idea has been in my mind for a few years now, so to see it turned into a reality is both nerve-racking and exciting.

"This ride represents my small way of saying thank you to the person who saved my life; my donor, my hero from Hamelin.

"No amount of miles cycled could ever match what he has done for me - but I know I had to do something.

“By cycling to Germany I very much want to raise money and awareness for the two charities that are a huge reason I'm still alive today.

"Both charities I hold very close to my heart and both offer lifesaving treatment for all those affected by blood cancer.

"My cycle ride is a relatively small task compared to what those with blood cancer go through. "

John Reeve, trustee at Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and BPositive, said: "Through previous fundraising challenges we fulfilled the dreams of my son.

"Now I am delighted to be able to play a part in supporting Jonjo in his dream to complete this cycling challenge, meet his donor and raise money to stop people dying from blood cancer.”

Mary Campbell, from the Anthony Nolan charity, added: “The fundraising that Jonjo is doing makes such a big difference to people with blood cancer. The more fundraising we do, the more potential donors we can recruit onto the bone marrow register, and the more lives we can save.”

At the end of September Jonjo is also taking part in the 100 mile Birmingham Bikeathon, the largest cycle ride ever to be hosted by the city.

For more information on Jonjo's charity, visit Bpositive.org.uk.

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