A myeloma patient and his fiancée are taking on the Great North Run in support of Myeloma UK.
Before being diagnosed with myeloma, 46 year old Steve Lang was an avid runner, having completed the London Marathon three times, while his fiancée Claire O’Neill had also completed the Manchester Marathon.
Claire explains that Steve was diagnosed with myeloma in February 2015, “Steve had been in a lot of pain prior to his diagnosis. Before treatment could even begin, Steve needed extensive neurosurgery on his neck as the myeloma eroded his top vertebrae and he also had a fracture in his neck. “
“His diagnosis was a shock and initially had a big impact our lives. He was no longer able to do the activities he enjoyed like coaching his son’s football team and running. He had several months off work and had to be careful about eating and hygiene when out and about. The thing Steve has to get used to the most is probably the tiredness, he is a very active person. If it wasn’t for Steve’s positive attitude, I’m quite sure the impact would have been greater.”
Claire says Steve’s outlook has kept her going, “Steve inspires me every day with his positive, selfless and determined attitude – from the word ‘go’ he has refused to wallow in pity.”
Steve underwent high dose therapy and a stem cell transplant in October 2015. He then joined the Myeloma XI trial and is now in remission. Claire explains, “Now that Steve is generally feeling a lot better, he had the idea of doing the Great North Run as a challenge to raise as much money and awareness of myeloma as we can.”
Claire says helping Myeloma UK was important to them both, “The more people who are aware of myeloma, the more they can help to raise money which will help to fund research into finding medicines which help patients. I also hope that if more people are aware of this illness then diagnosis will come sooner than it did for Steve.”
The couple are taking on the Great North Run together on 10 September, just 20 days before their wedding. Claire says, “The run takes place just under 3 weeks before our wedding but it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss to do something together in the face of myeloma.
“We’re getting through Steve’s myeloma journey as a team and we’ll get through the Great North Run in the same way!”
You can support Steve and Claire by donating on their JustGiving page.
Do you want to take on the Great North Run for Myeloma UK? You can find out more about our charity assured places for the event by contacting our Fundraising Team on 0131 557 3332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.