Thrilled Rugby dad completes London Marathon for cancer charity which saved daughter’s life - The Rugby Observer

Thrilled Rugby dad completes London Marathon for cancer charity which saved daughter’s life

Rugby Editorial 6th Oct, 2022 Updated: 6th Oct, 2022   0

A ‘THRILLED’ Rugby dad completed the London Marathon to raise money for the charity which saved his little girl’s life – as she cheered him on from the sidelines.

Chris Hughes, 36, took part in the famous marathon on Sunday (October 2) to give something back to the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan after it helped his daughter Holly, six, to beat leukaemia twice.

Chris said: “I was delighted that I was able to finish the race and constantly thought of Holly as I was running. The cheering London crowds, and the Anthony Nolan support team were incredible.

“I couldn’t have done it without their support and seeing Holly at the finish line made my run worthwhile. It was great that I could give back to Anthony Nolan, the charity that saved my daughters’ life and continues to do amazing things for many others with blood cancer and blood disorders.”

Giving her dad a fist bump, Holly said she was proud of her dad and loved cheering him on.

Holly was first diagnosed with leukaemia just days before her second birthday, and had to learn to walk again after two years of cancer treatment.

After her second diagnosis, Chris quit his job to spend more time with her during the seven-month illness which followed.

Holly’s only chance of survival was through a stem cell transplant. After a search on their register, Anthony Nolan found a perfect matching umbilical cord for her treatment.

Chris said: “I can remember that phone call. I can only imagine that feeling is what the best drug in the world must feel like, that euphoric feeling, to know that they have got a match for your child.”

Just days after the marathon, Chris headed off to Tanzania to take on a seven-day challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa.

He hopes to create more awareness about Anthony Nolan’s lifesaving work and help raise money to recruit more stem cell donors.

Like Holly, around 2,400 people need a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor in the UK every year. Anthony Nolan works to encourage people to sign up as donors. Visit for more information on the charity.

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