Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 6°C


Blood cancer charity set to benefit from 5km Great East Swim family tribute

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 March 2017

Andy Reilly will take on the Great East Swim in memory of his mother Dorothy Reilly who died from leukaemia 10 years ago

Andy Reilly will take on the Great East Swim in memory of his mother Dorothy Reilly who died from leukaemia 10 years ago


When Suffolk-born Andy Reilly takes to the water this summer for the county’s biggest swimming challenge, it will be a tribute to two of his closest family members who were both struck with blood cancers.

Andy Reilly preparing for the Great East Swim which will be a tribute to his mum and brotherAndy Reilly preparing for the Great East Swim which will be a tribute to his mum and brother

Andy, who has signed up for the Great East Swim at Alton Water on June 17, will tackle the 5km challenge in memory of his beloved mum Dorothy, who died from leukaemia a decade ago.

Then in March 2014, his brother Chris was also diagnosed with double hit grey cell lymphoma – a very rare form of the disease – and was given a 20% chance of survival.

Thankfully three years on, Chris is now in remission and Andy will be using the swim to raise money for the specialist charity Bloodwise to give other people with blood cancers a second chance at life.

Chris spent months in hospital battling the disease and its side effects and was fortunate enough to find a strong non-genetic stem cell match which led to a stem cell transplant in November 2015.

Chris and Andy Reilly with their familyChris and Andy Reilly with their family

He has been in remission for the past two years and has recently moved with his wife and three children from Solihull near Birmingham onto a houseboat near Woodbridge, where his mother lived.

Dorothy died after a six month battle with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2007. Andy, 39, believes had she been diagnosed in 2017, she would have had a very different outcome thanks to major advances in research.

He said: “Mum loved the east of England; she was a keen sailor and loved living in Woodbridge.

“As a kid, she encouraged me to earn my distance badges swimming open water in the River Deben at Felixstowe Ferry, so it felt really fitting to return to Suffolk to take part in the Great East Swim.”

Andy said it came as a “huge shock” when his brother was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

“He was given something like a 20% chance of living but he managed to pull through thanks to the amazing treatment he was given,” Andy continued. “It made me think how lucky we had been and I think that if mum had been diagnosed now, her outcome would have been very different.”

Andy will be one of 2,000 people who take on the 5k distance and he will be supported by family and friends who are travelling to watch him on the day.

He added: “I hope that I, along with hundreds of other fundraisers, will be able to help more people get the outcome my brother has had.”

To support Andy at the Great East Swim, visit his fundraising page

Entries for all distances at the Great East Swim are now open and you can enter here.

One person has been arrested after a man was stabbed on Cemetery Road in Ipswich.

Balmy autumn temperatures have kept winter at bay in Suffolk and north Essex this October – but temperatures could plunge into single figures this week, according to forecasters.

A torchlit parade and burning boat formed the spectacular finale to Suffolk’s first Saxon and Viking show.

Older people in Ipswich are being encouraged to take part in the ActivLives sessions.

Opinion: Why I hate taking selfies

Yesterday, 16:52

Nowadays, wherever you go and whoever you’re with, it seems almost automatic for many people to instantly let the world know by taking a selfie.

With three walks on offer and a guide booklet packed with information the curious about Ipswich walk is a great day out.

A primary school in Hadleigh has seen its Ofsted rating soar from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ following a recent inspection.

Watch our video tour of The Old Rectory, a £1.35m home set on 1.6 acres of land for sale in Tattingstone.

Tougher punishment for speeding may be helping to cut offences in Suffolk, new research has suggested.

Make sure your plan your journeys around the road works being carried out by Highways England.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24