Press release posted 22 May 2024

James Macpherson, a 35-year-old avid cyclist in Stockport, is gearing up to participate in the Great Manchester Run, raising funds for The Christie hospital that played a crucial role in his recovery from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

James’ journey began at the age of 24 when he noticed shortness of breath during his regular cycling sessions. Concerned, he sought medical advice and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in July 2014.

“It was a very tough route to cure, as my cancer was refractory (didn’t respond to treatment) and initial treatments did not work,” he explains. “I had to move down to The Royal Marsden hospital in Surrey for a few months to take part in a phase 3 trial of a new immunotherapy which got rid of the cancer. My consultant Dr Samar Kulkarni at The Christie was instrumental in arranging this for me. I then had a stem cell transplant in February 2015 with the cells harvested from my sister Freya who was a match.”

A photo of James Macpherson, former Christie patient and Christie Charity supporter, in bed at The Christie.

James, who is originally from Poynton, decided that he wanted to ‘say thanks’ for all the help and support his family provided during his illness, including his sister who donated her stem cells and his partner Leanna of 18 years, who works at The Christie hospital as a research practitioner.

So, James signed up to the Great Manchester Run and started fundraising for The Christie Charity as he explains: “I decided to enter the Great Manchester Run to mark the 10-year anniversary of my initial diagnosis and as a marker of how far I've come to get back to fitness over the years since, and potentially as a starting point for future fundraising.”

“I wanted to recognise all the great work The Christie Charity does, be that improving patient services or the environment in the hospital. I also wanted to say thanks to all the staff who cared for me during my treatment, from the consultants and nurses to the kitchen staff, porters and domestic staff.

“Aside from my stem cell transplant, all my aftercare and monitoring has been handled by The Christie. Plus, some of my family and family friends have been treated there over the years, so it’s a massive thank you on their behalf too.”

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: May 2024