3 min read

The Christie named as Silverchip's charity of the year

The Christie sees over 44,000 patient visits each year and is one of Europe's largest cancer centres and an international leader in research. The Christie charity provides enhanced services to The Christie hospital, over and above what the NHS can fund.

The Christie is particularly close to our hearts with our developer, Seb Smith, 24, was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma after just turning 19 back in 2016.

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Seb's story.

Back in 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 4, Hodgkins Lymphoma. As it was stage 4, it was very severe. I underwent four different types of Chemotherapy, with none of them looking good.

During the third Chemotype, the doctors and I were aware that I would need a stem cell transplant due to the therapy not doing enough to reduce the disease. During the fourth Chemotype, the disease was at a point where we could go ahead with the stem cell transplant.

In 2017, I had my stem cell transplant. Luckily, my sister was a donor. If I wasn't in the fortunate position to have a match, we would have had to go on the Anthony Nolan registry. This is often a long wait for a donor, with some cases never finding a matching donor. Everyone who can, should signup.

After around a month or so at The Christie, the donor cells did their magic and grafted. It was all going ok until June 2018, when the transplant had failed, leaving me with zero white blood cells. This meant I was extremely susceptible to infections and sepsis, which I ultimately got.

Because of this, I ended up being an inpatient at The Christie for six months. During my time at The Christie, I was diagnosed with appendicitis. This was very concerning as I had zero white blood cells to help me fight it off.

The brave surgeons had to take dramatic action to remove my appendix when I didn't have an immune system. The chance of a successful surgery was about 15-20%, but there was no alternative.

Fortunately, the procedure went ok. I had quite a few complications following on from it and still experience complications to this day but nothing too serious.

After a difficult conversation with the consultants, we had to resort to getting a second opinion from another consultant down in London about a rare treatment called, CD-34. They didn't have much evidence to back up the effectiveness but my Haemotology consultants wanted to try it anyway. Luckily for me, it worked.

Since then, I have to have regular blood tests to make sure everything is in order.

Without the amazing efforts from everyone who helped me at The Christie, I wouldn't be typing this. The Christie saved my life.

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Please join us in supporting The Christie and help support others like Seb by donating via our JustGiving page.