An athlete who survived cancer thanks to a lifesaving stem cell transplant, will travel to Australia next year for The World Transplant Games.
During an astonishing year of sporting success, Lindsey Blackburn, 37, from Middlesbrough, has won gold at both the British and European Transplant Games – in the 3k and 5k Road Races respectively.
She has thanked developer Linden Homes for a sponsorship deal that has enabled her to fine tune her preparations for both events, success at which has brought about the Team GB call up.
“I have excellent support from my club and coaches but this sponsorship enabled me to invest more into my training.” Said Lindsey, “Having the most appropriate kit, access to the best facilities and ensuring I was benefiting from the correct nutrition, helped me to make small – but vital – one percent gains over the competition.
“It has been integral to helping me perform so well at my first British Games, held in July, in Leeds and then at my first European Games, in August, in Oxford – where I was also chosen to be one of the flag bearers at the opening ceremony. These performances have resulted in me achieving my overall goal of competing at world level next year.”
It was in 2008, at the age of 22, that Lindsey was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma – a type of Blood Cancer. Following numerous treatments, the cancer returned – three times in total – and she was eventually told that a stem cell transplant offered her the best chance of a cure.
Lindsey had the transplant in 2011, followed by a lengthy recovery period. She was completely discharged from hospital in 2019 and it was around this time that she discovered she was eligible to compete in the British Transplant Games.
She continues: “I had always been fit and well and very active. After treatment, it was a long road to recovery – at times, I didn’t even have the energy to make a cup of tea.
“Running and the goal of taking part in these competitions gave me the focus I needed to help aid my recovery; build my fitness and show the world that there is life after cancer -thanks to the wonders of stem cell donation.
Lindsey purchased a property at Linden Homes’ Bracken Grange development in Middlesbrough, in 2021 and it was through this house move that she was able to share her story with the developer and secure the support.
Linden Homes made the donation in memory of much-loved colleague Ross Sanderson, who sadly passed away in 2019, aged 30, due to complications associated with a rare primary immune deficiency, known as CVID.
Although the condition Ross lived with was very different to Lindsey’s, he also underwent a stem cell transplant following years of treatments and the sponsorship presented an opportunity to highlight just how important the funding and advancement of stem cell medical research is.
Christine Curran, Sales Director with Linden Homes in the North East, said: “Lindsey is an inspiration to all. Her commitment and drive to fight back from such a serious condition – and to constantly improve her sporting performance is testament to her character.
“We are delighted that our support has played a big part in helping her achieve her dreams of making the World Transplant Games in Australia where she can fly the flag for both the UK and Teesside.”
Linden Homes is currently active on three sites across the North East. Properties are available for sale at Bracken Grange, in Middlesbrough, at Kirkleatham Green, near Redcar and at Saint George, in Morpeth. For more information, visit: https://www.lindenhomes.co.uk/
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