Press release posted 15 January 2024

Lee Penrose from Clitheroe is going to be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on 3 February 2024 to fundraise for The Christie Charity, to mark World Cancer Day on 4 February 2024.

Lee was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, a slow-growing blood cancer, in 2011 when he was aged 31, which is especially young for this disease. He was admitted to The Christie hospital and had 12 months of intense chemotherapy, under the care of Dr Adrian Bloor and the team in the haematology unit. Lee’s wife, Steph and their young daughters Mary and Abi were ever-present at his side throughout the process.

As a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the hospital, once Lee recovered from the treatment, he and Steph decided to embark upon a fundraising event for The Christie Charity by canoeing the length of the Caledonian Canal, which is 60 miles (100km) long.

That was in 2013 and since then Lee has been closely monitored at The Christie every 6 months. He remained in good health until the disease returned in late 2021 when it was more aggressive and needed specialist treatment, as he explains: “Once again, the magnificent team at The Christie swung into action and I stayed on Palatine Ward (best in the world!) for 3 months in an isolation room due to my poor immune system and prevalence of COVID at the time. This meant I was unable to see my wife and daughters much and the only way was for them to stand in the car park and wave through the window!

“My most recent bout of treatment is now coming to an end, and I am back fighting fit for the moment so I wish to do something to repay everything that The Christie has given us.”

This time, Lee’s fundraising challenge will be with his oldest schoolfriend Shaun Lister. Lee and Shaun are both 45-years-old and grew up in Burnley together but now Shaun lives in Corsham, Wiltshire and is a Commander in the Royal Navy.

“Together, we are heading to Tanzania to scale the 6,000m peak of Mount Kilimanjaro!” Lee explained. “It’s going to be hard, but worth it and will feel extra special knowing that we have raised some well-deserved monies for The Christie Charity.

“I would like to mention that Dr Bloor has been the foundation of our care at the hospital. His reassuring manner combined with a super intelligent yet caring approach to my treatment has always made us feel like we are in the best hands possible.

"Having interacted with the hospital for over 12 years now, I can honestly say that the dedicated, caring and sometimes fun teams across all departments work miracles on a daily basis. Each day, I feel grateful for the years I’ve had watching my daughters Mary and Abi, who are now 18 and 17, grow to young adulthood as they now head off on their adventures travelling around the world and to university.”

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 funds. 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.