A Swanwick GP’s revolutionary treatment is breaking new ground in the battle against blood cancers.
Dr Colin Clayton - who took retirement from his surgery in March due to mounting ill health - appeared in person before National Institute for Clinic Excellence (NICE) to successfully argue for the unique life-extending drugs cocktail.
Thankfully it has helped to put his own chronic leukaemia and myelofibrosis into a level of remission.
But he currently remains the only patient in the country (possibly Europe) currently receiving this ultra-specialised treatment package.
Now the 53-year-old is preparing to salute the two small charities which backed his life-preserving plea.
Dr Clayton and his former partner in the practice over the last 23 years, Dr Terry Jones, plan to pedal the entire 125 mile length of the historic Leeds and Liverpool canal.
Colin said: “I have had a whole series of blood cancers which in themselves are quite rare.
“But to get myelofibrosis as well as chronic leukaemia together is virtually unknown.
“The GP job got too much for me and I took ill health retirement at the end of March and I though it would be nice to do something to put something back into the two charities which deal with what I’ve got.
“One of whom I have been before NICE to represent because the drug I take for myelfibrosis is currently not available on the NHS and I have been given that on compassionate grounds by the drug company involved.”
His practice partner Terry is “mad keen” on bikes and not having had a holiday for the past two years, though the charity marathon (and the chance to support Colin) would be the ideal excuse.
Colin said: “Since I retired I have been very lucky with the weather and have been putting plenty of practice in.
“It was the right time to go because the main problem was increasing fatigue and I go to a point in the autumn when I knew that, physically, I couldn’t continue and it was time to go.
“But just before I retired I took to wearing a charity tee-shirt for work which opened a few eyes because my patients have been so used to seeing me in a shirt and tie and they have been very generous in backing me with sponsorship, which is wonderful.
“It is of course a personal challenge but I am treating it as a holiday but every penny I get will go straight to these two charities.
“I did a shire horse riding marathon a few years ago which was fantastic so this is continuing the canal history theme, I suppose.”
The “a marathon a day for five days” challenge begins in Liverpool’s docklands on Monday with all proceeds going to charities Leukaemia Care and MPN Voice.
Former patients have already pledged generous sponsorship of his, undoubtedly, seriously physically punishing efforts.
You can join them at www.justgiving.com/Colin-Clayton3