The amazing South Shields role model who fought back to health after a transplant
Transplant hero Becca Anderson has re-lived the night she won a Best of South Tyneside award – and learned about it in a New York hotel.
The inspirational South Shields woman was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010 when she was aged 18.
Nine years later, she won the Role Model of the Year trophy at the 2019 Best of South Tyneside Awards when judges heard of her remarkable story.
But she could not be at the awards night because she was away working in her job as cabin crew for an airline at the time.
"I remember I had been on a long flight and I had just got to the hotel in New York,” she remembered.
"I was absolutely shattered but then I got this call to say I had won. I had a celebratory drink.”
Becca, 30, who now works for the Catholic Trust, urged people to enter this year’s awards and said: “I didn’t expect to win anything and I was overwhelmed when I did.
"I was born in South Shields. I live and breathe this town and it was huge to be recognised by the community you are living in.”
Becca had three rounds of chemotherapy after her leukaemia diagnosis but she was told by medical staff she would need a stem cell transplant if she were to be cured and there was no match within her family.
The Anthony Nolan Trust searched the stem cell register for someone who could save her life.
A match was found and she went into hospital in November 2010, where she had her transplant and remained in isolation for two months.
Nine years later, Becca took on the Great North Run in 2019 as her way of saying thank you to Anthony Nolan.
It was a complete transformation and her amazing efforts saw her become the Role Model of the Year at the 2019 Best of South Tyneside Awards.
A number of people spotted the story of Becca’s win and she said: “They reached out for help and guidance as they were going through something similar.
"To have that recognition in the community is a huge thing.”
The annual Best of South Tyneside Awards are back with a headline sponsor of UTS and we won’t rest until we have found those inspirational people who make a difference to so many lives.
Now is the time to put the unsung stars of your neighbourhoods in the running for honours.
Is there a role model, a carer, or a child who you think shows incredible courage? Do you want to honour a community stalwart who goes the extra mile to help others without asking for acknowledgement.
Is there a child of achievement who has gone that extra length to achieve their targets?
Or is there a young stage star who would deserve to win the Young Performer of the Year category.
You have plenty of time to come forward with the names of those you want to see in the running. Once we pass the competition deadline, a panel of judges will meet to draw up the shortlist.
For now, though, get those nominations in. Send them by email to [email protected] co.uk.
To find out more, visit https://www.bestofsouthtyneside.co.uk/