Dad who called on the public for stem cells for his son is up for an award – Chronicle Live

Doting dad Stephen Armstrong knows all too well what its like to be waiting for a transplant donor.

His son Jacob was diagnosed at two years old with a rare blood disorder and called on the public to donate stem cells to find him a match.

He then set out to raise as much money as he could for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan in a bid to save lives.

And now, after raising over 20,000, his efforts have been recognised by the charity as they honour him at an awards ceremony held at the Tower of London in November.

Stephen, 33, of Wallsend, North Tyneside, has been shortlisted for the Individual Fundraiser of the Year Award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2019.

The prestigious awards are back for their seventh year and will recognise the outstanding achievements of the volunteers, fundraisers and campaigners who help the pioneering blood cancer charity save lives.

Stephens nomination is in recognition of his incredible fundraising efforts, leading a group of 19 friends and family in a series of physical challenges, all while his son was undergoing treatment.

After Jacob was diagnosed in 2017, Stephen set out to find a matching stem cell donor, as well as raise awareness of the need for more people on the register.

From here Jacobs Journey was born, and through a series of challenges including the Great North Run, the Great North Bike Ride and climbing Ben Nevis, Stephen has helped raise over 20,000 for the charity.

Jacob, who turns four in November, and his family have been told he does not need a transplant, but Stephen and his family want to continue raising awareness for others who arent so lucky.

When Jacob was diagnosed, we were stunned by how few people were on the stem cell donor register. I couldnt believe how a stranger in the street could potentially save our little boys life, said Stephen, an assistant manager for Dixons Carphone.

Anthony Nolan helped us massively while Jacob was ill and provided a great support network. I feel very proud to be nominated for an award, and I hope it can help build even more awareness for the cause.

Stephen and mum Kirsty, 28, received the news in December 2017 that Jacob was suffering from bone marrow failure, which affects between 30 and 40 children each year.

They first became concerned about his health when they went abroad to get married and noticed he was getting bruised easily. The marks would take weeks to disappear, so when the couple returned to the UK they decided to take Jacob to the doctor for a check up.

After tests he was then diagnosed and was treated at the Great North Childrens Hospital in Newcastle, where he received two blood transfusions.

Stephen added: When we were told Jacob did not need the transplant it was the best news in the world, a total relief. He still needs check ups every three months and his consultants is keeping an eye on him. There are so few people on the stem cell donor register so I just wanted to create a ripple effect with awareness and get more people on it.

Stephen, who has raised a further 8,000 for other smaller charities, has also been nominated for our Chronicle Champions Award in the Champion Fundraiser category.

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: It is remarkable to see how many people support our work to find a match for those in need of a stem cell transplant. Without them, none of our lifesaving work would be possible.

Stephen has shown tremendous commitment to Anthony Nolan by continually going above and beyond in his fundraising efforts.

Henny added: We want to extend a huge congratulations to Stephen and look forward to celebrating with him at the awards.

The awards take place on Thursday 28 November at the Tower of London, and all winners will be revealed on the night.

Anthony Nolan is the charity that finds matching stem cell donors for people with blood cancer and blood disorders and gives them a second chance at life. It also carries out ground-breaking research to save more lives and provide information and support to patients after a stem cell transplant, through its clinical nurse specialists and psychologists, who help guide patients through their recovery.

To see the full shortlist, and find out more about the charity visit

The rest is here:
Dad who called on the public for stem cells for his son is up for an award - Chronicle Live

Related Post