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Woodford Green man in running for top charity award after dad's life is saved

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 October 2019

Tom Kopelman after completing the London Marathon and raising �11,000 for charity. Picture: Anthony Nolan

Tom Kopelman after completing the London Marathon and raising �11,000 for charity. Picture: Anthony Nolan

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A Woodford Green man raced to become the top fundraiser for the charity that saved his dad's life.

Sports physiotherapist Tom Kopelman was shortlisted for the Individual Fundraiser of the Year Award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards after raising £11,000 for the blood cancer charity at the London Marathon this year.

Tom started fundraising for the charity after his dad Peter received a stem cell transplant from a stranger in 2016 to treat an aggressive form of leukaemia.

Tom said: ""My dad underwent months of treatment and then found a stem cell match, none of which would have been possible without Anthony Nolan. He's now free of cancer- they saved his life."

Tom ran the British 10k in 2017 with his dad for Anthony Nolan and decided to push himself for the marathon this year and said he is ready to take on another challenge.

Anthony Nolan Chief Executive Henny Braund said that without the support of people like Tom their life-saving work wouldn't be possible.

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He 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.

"Tom has shown tremendous commitment to Anthony Nolan by continuously going above and beyond in his fundraising efforts."

About 2,000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant from a stranger every year and Anthony Nolan said they need more young men to sign up as they are most likely to be chosen to donate but make up just 18% of the register.

To join the Anthony Nolan register, you must be between the age of 16-30 and healthy.

They also need more people from BAME backgrounds to sign up as only 69% of transplant recipients receive the best match but this drops to 20% for BAME recipients.

This is the seventh year the charity is holding their Supporter Awards recognising the outstanding achievements of the volunteers, fundraisers, and campaigners who help them save lives.

Winners will be revealed on 28 November at the awards show at the Tower of London.

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