Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Devoted Father's Fundraising Efforts Win Him Charity Accolade; Dad's Raised PS20,000 as Son Battles Rare Blood Disorder

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Devoted Father's Fundraising Efforts Win Him Charity Accolade; Dad's Raised PS20,000 as Son Battles Rare Blood Disorder

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON Reporter lisa.hutchinson@trinitymirror.com @lisachron

HE'S done it - Stephen Armstrong has scooped a prestigious award for his huge fundraising efforts as his son fought a rare blood disorder.

The doting dad took home the award for Individual Fundraiser of the Year at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2019 ceremony held at the Tower of London.

The top awards were back for their seventh year to recognise the outstanding achievements of the volunteers, fundraisers and campaigners who help the pioneering blood cancer charity save lives.

And the award is in recognition of Stephen's incredible fundraising efforts - leading a group of 19 friends and family in a series of physical challenges, all while his son Jacob was undergoing treatment.

When Jacob was diagnosed in 2017 at two years old, Stephen set out to find a matching stem cell donor, as well as raise awareness of the need for more people on the register.

From here 'Jacob's Journey' was born, and through a series of challenges including the Great North Run, the Great North Bike Ride and climbing Ben Nevis, Stephen has helped raise over PS20,000 for the charity.

Jacob is now four years old and his family have been told he does not need a transplant, but Stephen and his family want to continue raising awareness for others who aren't so lucky.

"When Jacob was diagnosed, we were stunned by how few people were on the stem cell donor register.

"I couldn't believe how a stranger in the street could potentially save our little boy's life," said Stephen, 33, of Wallsend, North Tyneside.

On winning the award, Stephen said: "I feel very proud - I really didn't expect it. You don't do it for recognition, but to get more people to join the register."

Stephen, and Jacob's mum Kirsty, 28, received the news in December 2017 that Jacob was suffering from bone marrow failure, which affects between 30 and 40 children each year.

They first became concerned about his health when they went abroad to get married and noticed he was getting bruised easily. …

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