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Trio runs Oxford Half Marathon to raise funds for Young Adult Clinic

14/10/2019
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A transplant patient at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was joined by two members of staff as they completed the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday (13 October 2019) to raise money for the Oxford Young Adult Clinic (YAC).

Mark Tompkinson, an intestinal transplant recipient, was supported by Ali Smith, his Transplant Nurse, and Daley Cross, a Youth Development Worker, along the 13.1 mile route.

Mark has Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP), a rare abdominal cancer, and received a multi-organ transplant at the Churchill Hospital, where the YAC is based, in 2016. 

The 56-year-old had a very complicated recovery, including five weeks in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and three months in hospital. He had six organs replaced during a 20-hour operation.

As a thank you to the hospital and staff who cared for him - and in memory of his organ donor - all money raised through the run will go to the YAC.

He said: "Three years ago I was given a lifesaving multi-organ transplant at the Churchill Hospital, but now I've just completed a half marathon.

"It's been an unbelievable journey to get here, all thanks to a team in the NHS that are simply world-class in providing pioneering transplant surgery that is not available anywhere else in the world.

"The run was my way of saying thank you to them and of course to remind myself just how grateful I am for receiving the gift of life from my organ donor."

He added: "The Oxford Young Adult Clinic is a small charity that is doing some amazing work with young people who have undergone or are about to undergo lifesaving transplant surgery."

Ali Smith ran the Sheffield 10k with Mark and his family and friends a year after his surgery. More than £10,000 was raised for the unit. 

PMP is an extremely rare, incurable form of cancer, but can be managed. Mark's ongoing care is being provided by the Churchill Hospital, as well as at Basingstoke Hospital which has a specialist PMP cancer team.

Ali Smith, Transplant Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Mark struggled following his time in ICU but has found running has given him a positive approach to recovery.

"Daley and I jumped at the chance to support him in the Oxford Half Marathon and help raise funds for the Young Adult Clinic. All money raised will support the young adults and all our transplant recipients get back into sport, and to help with travel costs when competing at events.

"I am so proud of Mark for finishing the race, and he should be delighted with his achievement."

Daley Cross, who runs the YAC, said: "I didn't run this race for me, but for all those who have gone through the transplant procedure and are currently waiting for one.

"Having been involved for four years, I have seen first-hand the difference the Oxford Young Adult Clinic is making to young people's lives.

"Being a self-funded service it can be difficult to maintain the funds, so events such as the Oxford Half Marathon are vital to allow us to continue to run and provide excellent care for our patients."

Donations can be made at Ali's JustGiving page here: Ali's Half Marathon

Pictured: from left, Daley Cross, Youth Development Worker, Mark Tompkinson, patient and Ali Smith, Transplant Nurse

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