19th August 2015
In April 2013, following the birth of his son, Graham Dickinson was unexpectedly diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Graham tells us how he’s already raised over £5,000 for Leuka – leading leukaemia research and why he’s determined to help improve treatment for those less fortunate than himself.
“I’d been feeling increasingly tired which my wife and I put down to the lack of sleep that comes with a new baby. I was seeing a client in the office and the first thing he said to me was that I didn’t look well and shouldn’t be at work. I went to the nearby walk-in clinic where they took some tests and told me to go to hospital if I didn’t feel better by the morning. I woke feeling even worse and went straight to A&E – the doctor called to say she thought I had leukaemia but would need more tests and just an hour later I was in the Royal Marsden receiving treatment. It was a complete shock.
It’s now been two years since my diagnosis and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m on a new drug called Ponatonib, which is still on trial, but I’ve been back at work for over a year – and we’ve also had another baby! The treatment I received has been brilliant and, with the type of leukaemia I have, I can take a tablet every day for the rest of my life – I’m extremely lucky.
In October last year I was honoured to be installed as the Master of the Worshipful Company of Insurers – one of the ancient livery companies of the City of London – and I nominated Leuka as my Charity of the Year. The cause is close to my heart – I was treated at The Catherine Lewis Centre, which was built with money raised by Leuka.
If I’d had this condition twenty years ago it would have been terminal and in many ways I feel like a fraud. I go to hospital and I see other patients, teenagers, who are seriously ill. In my year in office as Master I am determined to raise funds to help continue cutting edge research and improve the care and treatment for sufferers less fortunate than myself.”