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Myeloma patient’s legacy lives on

When myeloma patient Angelo Clarke passed away in December 2018, his wife Helen wanted to ensure that his legacy and positive outlook on life lives on.

Patient stories // 14th March 2019

Picture of Angelo ClarkeAngelo Clarke was diagnosed with myeloma in 2006 at the age of 39. He was performing in Pirates of Penzance when he started to feel unwell. Performing was something Angelo loved to do. It was also how he met his wife, Helen, in 1980.

“We met at the Bradford Youth Group and quickly became good friends,” explains Helen, “We started a relationship a few years later and got married in 1988. We had been celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary before Angelo passed.”

Angelo’s health problems had been put down to his diabetes, despite that fact that he took very good care of himself. After a regular check-up for his diabetes, the blood tests revealed high levels of paraprotein. He was instantly referred to a myeloma clinic, receiving tests, a kidney biopsy, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Despite receiving a myeloma diagnosis, Angelo was relieved to know what had been causing some of his health issues and that he was able to start treatment.

Picture of Angelo and Helen Clarke at 20's themed charity ballHe was passionate about helping others and always wanted to give back. After finding Myeloma UK, Angelo wanted to do something to give back. Angelo’s Army was born, with the first fundraising activity being a walk along the Yorkshire Peaks. 25 people took part (one of whom was blind) and the group raised £6,000.

Angelo’s theatre friends also wanted to do something to help, with the Angelo’s Angels group putting on a series of Annual Themed Charity Balls. Each raised around £23,000 for Myeloma UK, an extraordinary amount that has helped many of those affected by myeloma.

“If you asked Angelo how he was feeling he’d reply ‘never better’. He wanted to help others and volunteered at a local community centre shortly after having to give up work.”

A total of 650 people attended Angelo’s funeral, showing just how much of an impact he had on people’s lives’.

Helen is planning to hold a concert in Angelo’s memory soon, to help raise money for Myeloma UK.

“I hope that Angelo’s legacy will encourage others to be kind and help those in need.”