Wanstead mum encourages others to help battle Leukaemia at Ilford Bikeathon

A mother-of-two has urged youngsters to get involved with a fundraising bikeathon, 10 years after her own battle with deadly blood cancer.

Anne Machin, from Grove Park, Wanstead said that cash raised for the charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research has helped specialise treatment and improve survival rates for the devastating illnesses.

She told the Recorder her story just weeks before the Bikeathon Kidz event kicks off in Valentines Park, on June 12, sponsored by this newspaper.

She said: “I am an example of what can be done, and treatment has changed a lot in 10 years since thanks to funding research.

“The money raised through events like the Bikeathon means that people who get it will be better treated, more effectively treated and their recovery will be more likely.

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She added: “In the last 10 years treatment has improved dramatically.”

Anne Machin was a busy 48-year-old professional mum when she began feeling “exhausted” in January 2001. When she also developed a stiff neck and flu-like symptoms she went to see her GP who carried out a blood test.

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The next day Mrs Machin was admitted to Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone where she would stay for most of the next 6 months, undergoing four gruelling bouts of chemotherapy before having a bone marrow transplant at University College Hospital, Euston.

Following her transplant Mrs Machin was released from hospital on September 11 2001. Not until 18 months later did she start to feel “normal” again, but she maintains that she never thought she wouldn’t make it through her ordeal.

She said: “They say if you make through five years then you’re going to make it, and 10 years on I feel like I am in the clear, but I still get my blood count checked every year.

“Now my girls have grown up and I have had all those years with them so I am grateful for my treatment.”

Mrs Machin has attended every Bikeathon Kidz event in Redbridge: “It is a great, traditional and fun day out,” she said.

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