Monday, 25 October 2021

Bone marrow recipient rows Thames length

A MAN who had a lifesaving bone marrow transplant last year stopped in Henley on a 150-mile fund-raising row.

Chris Spencer, 48, led a team of five from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to Poplar, Blackwall and District Rowing Club in East London between Thursday and Sunday last week to raise money for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

The crew visited Leander Club on Friday, where they were welcomed by Jeremy Randall, club president and master of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames, and coach Ross Hunter, who was wearing the traditional red coat and silver badge awarded to winners of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race.

Vintage boats were brought to the club by Jan and Mike Stanton, of Deanfield Avenue, Henley, and Colin and Mary Patrick, from Kingwood.

Mr Spencer, who rowed for Great Britain as a teenager, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1997 and had his first bone marrow transplant two years later. In 2013 he found out he had marrow failure and Anthony Nolan helped find him a donor in Germany. He was joined by Robbie Coleman, Daniel Bartlett, Paul Prentice and his brother Roger for the row, which has raised more than £10,000 so far.

Mr Spencer said: “Anthony Nolan saved my life and it’s payback time. I’m hoping that my effort will be noticed and many more lives will be saved as we support the charity in its work.”

Mrs Stanton, who accompanied the crew from Leander to Hambleden lock, added: “It was a pleasure to support them.”

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