Former EADT and Star reporter completes half marathon following leukemia diagnosis
PUBLISHED: 07:30 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:18 25 March 2019
A former East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star sports reporter completed his first half-marathon at the weekend less than three years since he was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia.
Chris Brammer joined more than 13,000 runners in the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in May 2016, aged just 35.
Mr Brammer was running for Leuka – a charity which invests in research into the causes and treatment of leukaemia and other blood cancers – and has so far raised more than £650 through sponsorship.
Back in May, 2016, the popular journalist was preparing to cover a football match when he received two unknown phone calls in quick succession – which he ignored.
The third time his mobile rang it was from an Ipswich number and was answered, only for the specialist on the other end of the line to tell him to get to hospital as soon as possible.
“I have been a type 1 diabetic for the past nine years and earlier that day I had been called in for a blood test,” Mr Brammer said. “So I thought it was something to do with that but then he told me the hospital had been trying to get a hold of me.
“All I remember next is him saying something about white blood cells and immediately I thought of leukaemia. I asked him and he said it was possible.
“I was home on my own and just broke down into tears and called my then fiancée Nicki to come and get me.”
CML is a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells and tends to progress slowly over many years. It can be controlled with modern treatments.
Mr Brammer, who married Nicki four months after the diagnosis, said he has learned to live with the cancer and now takes one tablet per day to manage his condition.
“It’s scary when you first hear the ‘L-word’, but technology has come on so much that more and more people are able to live with their condition.
“Touch wood, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t live a normal life.”
Speaking of the half marathon, Mr Brammer, who now works as a communications officer for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, added: “It went really well, I finished in 2hrs 21mins, which I was quite pleased with.
“I’m really pleased to be able to raise some money for Leuka, who do great work.”
To donate, visit Mr Brammer’s Just Giving page here.