South Shields woman's Great North Run tribute to stranger who saved her life

People still have time to help a cancer survivor from South Shields who is taking on the Great North Run as a thank you to the stranger who saved her life.

Monday, 26th August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 26th August 2019, 11:45 am
Becca in training for the Great North Run

Becca Anderson, 28, decided to take on the run from Newcastle to South Shields on September 8 for the Anthony Nolan blood cancer charity after it found her a matching stem cell donor, following a diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, aged 18.

Becca, who now works as cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic said: "I was at university and had been poorly for a few months and I was actually on my way to a party when I got the phone call from my dad who told me the doctor had called and I had to go to hospital straight away."

She said: "I just remember saying ‘I’m going to die. I’m going to die.’

Becca at work

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Becca 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 so Anthony Nolan 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 after her life was saved by a stranger. Becca hopes to raise £1 for every day since her transplant - a total of £3,201.

She said: ‘Without Anthony Nolan, I genuinely wouldn’t be here. So when I decided to do the Great North Run it had to be for that charity.

When the time is right, Becca would like to contact her donor to thank her for saving her life.

She said: ‘I really want to write my donor a letter. All I know is that she’s a woman. Part of me thinks I want to tell her I’m doing the Great North Run because, you never know, she could be a runner. Just imagine if we met at the finish line or even ran together!’

Anna Scalera, Head of Events at Anthony Nolan, said, “We are delighted that Becca is running the Great North Run for us. Step by step, mile by mile, Team Anthony Nolan will be saving lives.

You can help Becca’s campaign and donate to The Anthony Nolan Trust at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RebeccaAndersonGNR2019