Donor's marathon effort after transplant recipient dies

London marathon runner Alex Greasby from Hitchin

Alex Greasby, from Hitchin, wants to raise awareness and funds for Anthony Nolan by running the Virgin Money London Marathon 2021 - Credit: Courtesy of Alex Greasby

A teaching assistant who donated stem cells to prolong the life of someone in desperate need of a transplant is running the London Marathon in aid of a blood cancer charity.

Hitchin's Alex Greasby is on the Anthony Nolan stem cell register and donated cells in 2018 after being identified as a match. Although initially successful, unfortunately the transplant only gave the recipient an extra six months of life.

Feeling there is more she can do, Alex has decided to run this year's Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3 in honour of the person who died, to raise funds for Anthony Nolan and to raise awareness of the charity's work.

This will be 27-year-old Alex's first ever marathon and she will be part of a 150-strong team of runners raising vital funds for Anthony Nolan.

She said: "I am excited because the power of awareness and the donations received will help to find more matches for people on the waiting list.

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"I feel so privileged to have a place with Anthony Nolan in the marathon, after such a long time where limited opportunities for these vital events to raise funds for such important things has been on hold.”

She added: “With this being my first ever marathon, it feels like such a daunting feat. I only found out I had a place at the end of July, so training has been hard and raising sponsorship money has been harder.

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"All my friends and family have been so supportive, and I just cannot wait to cross the finish line, with the support behind me and knowing I have raised funds for such an incredible charity.”

Anthony Nolan finds matching stem cell donors for people with blood cancer, carries out research and provides information and support to patients after a stem cell transplant.

Kirsty Mooney, head of supporter-led fundraising at Anthony Nolan, said: “We are over the moon the Virgin Money London Marathon is back for 2021 and that Alex has chosen to run with Anthony Nolan.

"The challenges the charity has faced throughout the pandemic mean fundraising is more important than ever in enabling Anthony Nolan to continue to recruit donors and deliver stem cells to patients in need of life-saving transplants."

To sponsor Alex, visit

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