Written in 2013

All marathons, half-marathons even local fun runs create their own stories of triumph despite adversity and illness. The 2013 BUPA Great Birmingham Run had it’s own fair share of stories to warm the soul and inspire others to take on the challenge. We at Cure Leukaemia, thankfully, have many stories of people who have managed to overcome this terrible disease and continue to enjoy life to the fullest. One of those fantastic stories concerns a 34-year-old firefighter from Bromsgrove called Adam Joyce.

Adam was first diagnosed with leukaemia in 2000 and was treated by our co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Thankfully, Adam’s illness is now in remission enabling him to enjoy life working for the West Midlands Fire Service with his base in Highgate Fire Station in Birmingham.

Having survived such a life-threatening illness Adam has been spurred into doing everything he can to raise awareness and funds to hopefully allow other leukaemia patients to follow a similar path. At this year’s BUPA Great Birmingham Run Adam and a group of fellow Midlands firefighters managed to raised over £10,000 for Cure Leukaemia.

The “Red Hot Runners” were a 22-strong team of runners, with the majority hailing from Highgate Fire Station. Preparations were going well until two team members had to withdraw from the race after an accident at work, but such was the spirit in the group, after being discharged from hospital they were there on Broad Street to support their friends on October 20th.

Adam and the team congregated at Cure Leukaemia’s Headquarters in the Brasshouse on the day of the race and if they needed any last-minute encouragement they received it when an anonymous donation of £1000 popped up on their Just Giving page. The beaming smile across Adam’s face suggested that was the boost he needed ahead of the race.

After donning their firesuits and trainers the Red Hot Runners set off on their 13.1 mile run through the packed streets of the Second City. The support was fantastic all along the arduous route, especially from the female contingent of Birmingham strangely!

After just under three hours of running the group could be seen emerging from the throng at the top of Broad Street with Adam leading the way. With the finish line in sight, their pace quickened as the group, who had stuck together through the whole route, saw that the Wolverhampton bobsleigh team were within reach. With a sprint finish, they pipped the bobsled on the line and were all straight in front of our cameras to speak to Cure Leukaemia Trustee Phil Upton. You can see some of the images from the finish line at the top of this story including some of the coverage that race Broadcasters Channel 5 featured on Adam and the team.

It was a magnificent achievement and it emphasised the spirit that was evident throughout the whole of ‘Team Cure Leukaemia’ on that memorable day. People realise that this is a very special charity that is and will continue to do very special things and in Adam Joyce, we have a shining example of what can be achieved through determination and world-class healthcare. Speaking on the day of the race Adam said:

“I’m only here because of people like Professor Charlie Craddock and charities like Cure Leukaemia. Hopefully, through raising all this money today many more people can hear the three amazing words I heard all those years ago, you are cured.”

Inspiring words from an inspirational person. Adam Joyce, age 34, firefighter, fundraiser and leukaemia survivor. Thank you.