The family of 20-year-old Martin Solomon, a cancer sufferer who is getting better thanks to the introduction of a new drug, vow to “never give up” on their hunt for a bone marrow match.
Martin, who lives in Sale Moor, has been suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is determined to find a bone marrow match for himself and others.
Wiping tears from her eyes, Martin’s Mum, Paula, told what a difficult journey the past 10 months have been. She said:
“When Martin was initially diagnosed I thought my world was going to end. And then when it came back 4 years later we were absolutely devastated as a family.
“No parent wants to be told that they’re going to lose their child. All I can say is thank God for Cancer Research and trial drugs. Without that trial drug we wouldn’t have Martin today because we don’t think that he would have survived this long.”
Even though the new drug, Brentuximab Vedotin, is already improving Martin’s health, the Solomon family want to make sure that if his cancer returns in the future, someone will be able to help him.
They have been holding a number of events to encourage people between the age of 16 and 30 to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register, a charity which helps find matches for those with blood cancer.
Today, the Solomons joined forces with charity, Anthony Nolan to host a drive in Manchester’s Printworks to make passersby aware of their hopes.
The family have been trying to encourage those from under-represented ethnic groups, particularly those of black Afro-Caribbean and Asian heritage to join the register.
Martin was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 15, but after fighting the illness it returned last year.
Paula added: “We’re here today to try to explain to people that there is nothing to be feared. You can join the register and you can save lives from your community.
“If people don’t register and they continue not to sign up, individuals from those communities will continue to die because of blood cancers.
“We will carry on searching and raising awareness about bone marrow donation, blood donation and organ donation because it’s really important that people sign the registers.”
Doctors have told Martin that he can now start to try and get on with his life as normal.
The Newcastle University student, who had to take a break from his studies whilst he undergoes treatment, has amazed doctors with his improvement since starting a new course of drugs.
He hopes to be able to return to University in September to continue studying biomedical science and to go on holiday to Croatia with his friends.
Martin’s Dad, Martin Snr told how he hopes that his son will be able to play football again soon.
“He used to play football with myself on a Friday and he used to play with his mates up in Newcastle. So hopefully he is on the mend and hopefully it doesn’t come back again.”
Listen to Paula Solomon’s heartbreaking interview here