Award win for Sheffield dancer

A father-of-two whose life was saved by a bone marrow donor has won the Patient Champion of the Year award.Â

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 13:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 13:23 pm
Mark Ritson, 51, of Fulwood crowned patient of the year

Mark Ritson, 51, of Fulwood, who has had two transplants in the past five years, with the second one saving his life, received the Anthony Nolan Supporter Award in recognition of his outstanding work to help ensure other bone and blood marrow transplant recipients have access to high quality, specialist care.

Inspired by the generous gift of Jacqueline Harfmann, a German teenager who twice donated her bone marrow to him after being found to be a match and the 'excellent' care he received at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Mark has gone on to represent the views of patients at national level.

Mark said, 'Sheffield is a major specialist centre for blood and bone marrow transplant patients, and I feel very lucky to have had my treatment there as the care was second to none. After I had my transplants I had quite a lot of hard to shift infections, but the team at Sheffield were well set up to deal with all sorts of problems and there was good communication between the different specialist departments which made a real difference to me in the days and weeks following my transplants, which as you can imagine was gruelling enough in itself.

'To be recognised for my work at a national level is amazing, and I want everyone to benefit from the same high quality care that I received in Sheffield and from the amazing gift of life my donor gave me.'

Mark was diagnosed with severe aplastic anaemia, a rare and potentially life-threatening condition where the bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells in 2008.

To find out more about donating your stem cells visit https://www.anthonynolan.org/8-ways-you-could-save-life/donate-your-stem-cells.