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Cancer patient’s name included in striking campaign installation

Four years ago, David Martin was diagnosed with hypoplastic myelodysplasia syndrome. Picture: CHANTAL SCURR/ANTHONY NOLAN

Four years ago, David Martin was diagnosed with hypoplastic myelodysplasia syndrome. Picture: CHANTAL SCURR/ANTHONY NOLAN

Chantal Scurr/Anthony Nolan

An Ipswich blood cancer patient’s name is among more than 100 to appear beside St Paul’s Cathedral as part of an awareness campaign.

David Martin's name is among more than 100 to appear beside St Paul’s Cathedral as part of an awareness campaign. Picture: CHANTAL SCURR/ANTHONY NOLANDavid Martin's name is among more than 100 to appear beside St Paul’s Cathedral as part of an awareness campaign. Picture: CHANTAL SCURR/ANTHONY NOLAN

Four years ago, David Martin was diagnosed with hypoplastic myelodysplasia syndrome a fault in the production of healthy blood cells by the bone marrow.

To raise awareness of Blood Cancer Month, nine charities got together and organised an art installation in London’s Paternoster Square.

Mr Martin’s first name was chosen as one of 13 representing the Anthony Nolan charity for the Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign.

In 2014, he received a stem cell transplant, which involved eradicating his diseased cells with chemotherapy and replacing them with cells from a stranger.

David Martin travelled to London for the unveiling with his wife Millie (centre) and daughter Alysha (right). Picture: CHANTAL SCURR/ANTHONY NOLANDavid Martin travelled to London for the unveiling with his wife Millie (centre) and daughter Alysha (right). Picture: CHANTAL SCURR/ANTHONY NOLAN

“I was only given 18 months to live but, thanks to Anthony Nolan, which found a German hero, I was given a second chance of life,” said the father-of-two, who attended the unveiling of the installation

It was created by designer Paul Cocksedge and made up of 104 three-dimensional names, representing the number diagnosed with blood cancer daily.

The installation was launched alongside research revealing one in three blood cancer patients admit they had never heard of their type of cancer before diagnosis.

Each sculpture is sized to match the patient’s height; the names arranged to reflect patterns that occur when people gather in crowds, and set in a recurring typeface intended to emphasise their shared experiences.

Mr Martin, 50, said: “It was a great honour and real privilege to be chosen as one of the people to be in this very special and moving installation.

“This has allowed me to give a little thank you back to the very special people at Anthony Nolan, and the NHS, which helped save my life.”

Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan said: “In sharing inspiring stories of people who have survived blood cancer, we can raise public awareness of their needs and inspire more people to join our stem cell register.”

During September, the public can interact with the sculptures, read the stories of 104 people who have been diagnosed with blood cancer and follow the campaign on social media using #makebloodcancervisible.

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