Sunday, January 12, 2014
Damian Stone’s fight against leukaemia inspired a community to help renovate his house, allowing him to return from hospital to a new-look home.
Now the St Neots father-of-two is aiming to return the favour by organising a fundraising ball.
Mr Stone, of Howitts Gardens, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia in September 2012. While in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, his friends raised £900 to buy an iPad so he could talk to his daughters, Bobbie, six, and Eryn, four.
Mr Stone’s friends also surprised him by renovating his house while he was in hospital, with many St Neots businesses donating materials to the DIY SOS-like project. An anonymous donation of £5,000, made through this paper, helped ensure the renovation project – started by Mr Stone before his illness – was completed.
To give something back, the 35-year-old and his wife Kylee, 33, have organised a black tie ball at Wyboston Lakes to raise money for Leukaemia Research and Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s haematology ward and day unit.
The ball, which will include a two-course meal, auction, raffle and entertainment from a St Neots band, international magician Martin Garrett and a DJ, takes place on March 1.
Mr Stone said: “What people did for us was amazing. This is my chance to give something back. I can’t run a marathon, or anything physical, but I can put on a ball and raise a bit of money to make a difference in someone else’s life.
“The staff at the hospital have been absolutely amazing in helping me and my family through this tough time, and by raising money for the haematology ward it will help make a difference to other patients in a similar situation.”
Mrs Stone said: “Damian’s doing all right. In July last year his intensive treatment stopped as it got him into remission. He’s taking chemo tablets every day for the next two years as with males any rogue cells can flare up the problem again, especially in his brain.
“Every three months he has intravenous chemo, which is followed two weeks later by a lumbar puncture chemo, which shoots the drugs up his spine into his brain.”
INFORMATION: Tickets cost £45 from firstname.lastname@example.org. Starts at 6.45pm.