A Matlock man who is battling leukaemia has inspired friends to raise support for blood cancer with a charity bike ride - and to donate their own bone marrow.
Jack Cartledge, 27, of Hurst Farm, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia just four weeks ago, and was lucky enough to catch the disease in its early stages.
He has since been on an aggressive course of chemotherapy and his family is delighted to see he is making a great recovery.
Now Jack’s friends have organised a charity bike ride in his honour, to build support for charities Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Delete Blood Cancer, and to encourage people to sign up for bone marrow donations.
Jack’s partner Natalie Fahy 27, said it was a total shock to discover he had the disease.
She added: “We didn’t even know he was ill. He didn’t even feel poorly, he only went to the doctor with a rash. He would have been in a seriously life-threatening position if we had it two weeks later.
“The leukaemia cells are coming from his bone marrow, so he will be having a transplant as soon as the cancer is gone or it will just keep returning more aggressive.
“But he’s doing amazing and feeling really positive. He’s got leukaemia – leukaemia hasn’t got him. He just refuses to give in.”
Jack has now completed a cycle of chemotherapy at Chesterfield Royal Hospital – the first of four aggressive courses lasting ten days each, and the couple’s children, Ellie, nine, and Liam, four, are both aware of what’s going on and coping superbly well.
Jack, who works for Severn Trent, is due to undergo a biopsy to see how his body is reacting to the chemotherapy and because his leukaemia is originating in his bone marrow, he will need a transplant to stop the cancer in its tracks.
That’s why friends and family have banded together to organise a bike ride. And rather than put up an entry donation, the family asks that all cyclists simply put their name on the Bone Marrow Donor register and provide a DNA swab for the charity on-site to add themselves to the list and potentially match with a patient who desperately needs a transplant.