Press release posted 27 February 2024

In May 2019, Jackie Gallimore from Whalley, Lancashire received the devastating news that her husband Howard was diagnosed with a rare and complicated form of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Given a grim prognosis with very little hope of a cure, Howard opted out of intensive chemotherapy at Royal Blackburn and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Determined to make the most of their time together, the couple embarked on trips to Bristol, Plymouth, Jersey, the Lakes, and the Dales, cherishing every moment spent with family, especially their 1-year-old granddaughter, Dot.

In August that year, despite the odds, Howard's condition remained stable. Seeking a second opinion, they turned to The Christie hospital's haematology department, where specialists fought for Howard to receive a new drug still unlicensed in the UK. This marked a turning point, injecting hope into their lives and within days of starting the treatment, Howard's symptoms disappeared, and they began to live again. His newfound lease on life saw him rekindling his passion for cycling and enjoying many other cherished moments.

Throughout the challenges of lockdown in March 2020, Howard continued cycling - this time on a turbo trainer on their patio - making the most of the weather and keeping as fit as possible and embracing life to the fullest.

"When lockdown was eased, we went to our caravan near Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales, which became our haven. We were able to see friends and family there, enjoying the outdoors, BBQs and some amazing sunsets," Jackie recalled. "Howard's drug Gilteritinib - those 3 little pills each day - kept him going for 15 months until the leukaemia cells again began to multiply, which we always knew they would. We said goodbye to Howard in December 2020, but I have memories that I would not have it if weren’t for The Christie – they gave us so much extra time which Howard enjoyed to the full."

Howard was a member of Clitheroe Bike Club and shortly after he died, his friends at the club decided to take part in a memorial bike ride for Howard and to raise money for The Christie Charity.

This kickstarted Jackie’s fundraising campaign, so to honour Howard's memory and express gratitude to The Christie hospital, she decided to embark on the Dales 30 Challenge - climbing 30 hills/peaks in the Yorkshire and Cumbrian Dales - to raise funds for The Christie Charity.

When Jackie had raised over £15K, Howard's name was added to a leaf on the Tree of Hope in The Christie Garden on 18 Nov 2022. Jackie continued with her fundraising and, with unwavering support from friends and members of the Clitheroe Mountaineering Club, she completed her 30th climb on 11 September 2023, and celebrated with a second ascent of Pen y Ghent on 17 September accompanied by 23 friends and her daughter Emily and boyfriend Anthony commemorating Howard's spirit and resilience.

A photo of Christie Charity fundraiser Jackie Gallimore and a group of other fundraisers at the peak of a mountain after completing a trek in support of The Christie Charity.

Jackie's remarkable efforts have raised over £23K for The Christie Charity to date.

"I will forever be indebted to the staff at The Christie haematology department," said Jackie. "It is my wish to continue raising and donating money directly to The Christie Charity to support the work the hospital does in researching and finding new treatments, like Gilteritinib to fight leukaemia."

Laura Hulme, philanthropy manager at The Christie Charity commented, “We are incredibly grateful to Jackie and her family for their support of The Christie Charity. Without people like Jackie, we wouldn’t be able to support the hospital in providing award-winning care, treatment and research.” To support the work of The Christie Charity, please go to Donate today or ring 0161 446 3988.

The Christie Charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS is able to fund. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education, and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.

Last updated: February 2024