Stem cell transplant man returns with tennis medal

Pam Mills

Andrew Hunter, 37, won bronze in the tennis competition at the annual event in Birmingham where people who have had stem cell or organ transplants take part in a variety of Olympic-style disciplines.

The games offer gentle encouragement to transplant patients to build their strength and fitness after treatment.

They also aim to raise public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and be a stem cell donor for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

Mr Hunter, who founded the jobs website Adzuna, was part of a 17-strong team from Anthony Nolan, all of whom have had stem cell transplants. They brought home a total of 21 medals, including in golf and the 100m sprint.

In 2015, he was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Anthony Nolan found an anonymous donor to replace his damaged cells.

Andrew said: “It feels awesome to be at the British Transplant Games. Eighteen months ago I was in a hospital bed in isolation, with no hair, feeling very ill, and thinking: ‘Am I going to get through this?’

“To be able to compete in an athletics event feels incredible. It also feels great to be surrounded by so many other transplant recipients that are fighting the good fight.”

He added: “To my donor, I’d like to say thank you for saving my life. Without him, I would not be here today.”

Tom Bishop, Senior Patient Services Manager at Anthony Nolan, said: “This was our fourth year taking Team Anthony Nolan to the British Transplant Games, and it was an amazing weekend for everybody involved.

“The games are a testament to the incredible spirit and determination of people who have received a stem cell transplant; many of whom will experience a difficult and complicated recovery.

“Winning medals is brilliant, but what this event really demonstrates is how many stem cell transplant recipients like Andrew can go on to live rich, healthy and fulfilling lives.”

He added: “Team Anthony Nolan are all winners in our eyes.”

For more information on the charity, or to join the Anthony Nolan register, visit

PICTURE: BOUNCING BACK: Andrew Hunter with his bronze medal

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