Transplant patient's anniversary donation

Staff nurse Jennifer Paterson with Jill and Tony Reeves, who had bone cancer

Staff nurse Jennifer Paterson with Jill and Tony Reeves, who had bone cancer

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

Life improved dramatically for leukaemia sufferer Tony Reeves a year ago when a mystery donor offered his bone marrow for a transplant.

The former RAF Benson postmaster is still suffering the blood cancer but his condition has improved.

Now, as a way of saying thank you, family, friends and a community group in Wallingford have raised more than £5,000 for the haematology unit at the Churchill Hospital where Mr Reeves was treated.

The 68-year-old lives with wife Jill, 61, in Crowmarsh Hill, and was postmaster at the air base for 40 years until he retired in 2001.

Mr and Mrs Reeves then ran a bed and breakfast business at their home, which is still running but under different management.

Father-of-three Mr Reeves said: “A man in his 30s from Sheffield gave some bone marrow, and since then my condition has gradually improved. The anniversary of the transplant is on April 14 and my consultant says the signs are good.”

Mr Reeves, who was first diagnosed in September 2010, has belonged to the 41 Club in Wallingford for 15 years.

When news spread of his illness, members of the club, and the ladies’ section Tangent, offered to raise funds.

He added: “The ladies’ group held some lunches and that raised about £1,500. Then friends organised the Churchill Strides from Christmas Common to Warborough raising £1,700 with support from Barclays Bank.

“And my son Paul Reeves, and his partner Ross Antony, who is a TV presenter in Germany, sold memorabilia on eBay and that raised another £500, and there were other individual donations.”

Mrs Reeves added: “We are grateful to people in Wallingford who supported us — the whole town rallied round.

“The final total was £5,466.75 and we handed a cheque to the hospital on Thursday.

“The money will pay for a food fridge for haematology patients and for a blood fridge on the ward, a method of storing blood in peak condition ready for instant use.

“Sometimes, if there are 20 people on the ward and they need blood it comes in batches but the blood fridge should make things easier.

“Tony’s condition has really improved since the transplant — before the transplant he had four lots of chemotherapy and lost his hair.

Staff nurse Jennifer Paterson said: “We’re delighted Tony is doing well. This group have been so inventive.”

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1:32pm Sat 31 Mar 12

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