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‘Miracle toddler’ David runs Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for leukaemia charity  

An NAHSCP staff member who beat the odds to survive childhood leukaemia ran the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday 28 May, raising almost £800 so far to help fund vital research into the condition.

David Campbell, Neurodevelopmental Programme Lead, was described as a ‘miracle toddler’ as he fought his way through the gruelling treatment for acute myeloid leukemia at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow when he was just two years old.

With his survival chances given at just 20 per cent, David became the first person in the world to undergo three pioneering bone marrow transplants. However the treatments were unsuccessful, with his heartbroken family being told that nothing more could be done.

David said: “At one stage I was in a coma and my parents were told they had to accept the facts and start to think about my funeral. However they had a very strong Christian faith, and after a week of being in a coma they asked for my feeding tube to be removed. Incredibly, after a few hours I sat up and asked what was for tea. My own bone marrow had finally started to come back and was cancer free.

“This was in the early 80s, and while treatments have improved a great deal since I was wee, they are still gruelling. I look forward to the day when the treatment is kinder and leukaemia can be overcome far more easily, which is one of the reasons I wanted to raise some money for Leukaemia UK.

“If it can help another family not to have to go through what my family did then it will all have been worth it. My parents had a lot of support from the Leukaemia Society and my dad went on to volunteer for them after I recovered, however that charity no longer exists and charities like Leukaemia UK have continued to provide vital support for families, as well as funding research into the condition.”

David shows off his medal after completing the marathon on May 28
David during his treatment at Yorkhill Hospital

David during his treatment at Yorkhill Hospital

Having run the Loch Ness Marathon last year, David decided to sign up for the Edinburgh race this year with the intention of doing so for charity.

He said: “The Loch Ness Marathon is one of the tougher ones, so to be able to complete that was amazing, especially when I know that I probably shouldn’t be here.

“The support I’ve had from my wife and family has been fantastic.The training takes up so much of your time and is challenging, but I know that me doing this for Leukaemia UK means as much to them as it does to me and they’re all really proud of me.

“Completing the last six miles of the Edinburgh Marathon was the toughest physical challenge of my life. In a way, pushing through that pain was a sobering reminder of the struggles that people suffering from leukaemia face daily. I hope my small part in the bigger picture can make a difference.”

There’s still time to donate to David’s fundraiser, and you can do so by visiting his page on the Go Fund Me website.

To find out more about the signs, symptoms and types of leukaemia, as well as information on current treatments and research, visit the Leukaemia UK website.

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