Nick Topley, 59 and his team have finished 5th in the men’s category in the Balearic triathlon, last month. Earlier this year, he competed in the British Transplant Games in Newport and won a silver medal in the Time Trial (in his age group), the only Team Wales cycling medal.
In 2016, the Barry resident got together with two friends, who are 67 and 69, and founded the “Old Man’s Coffee Club” to participate in triathlons and raise awareness about Blood and Marrow donation.
A retired professor from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, Nick Topley underwent bone marrow transplant to treat Aplastic Anaemia (a serious condition affecting the blood) during Christmas 2012 at University Hospital Wales, with marrow donated by his eldest sister, Freya.
“The bone marrow treatment has changed me. The experience of being a patient is completely different than that of being a doctor or a nurse. The fantastic care I received, the support from family and friends and my positive attitude have brought me back from the abyss. I took up cycling three years ago to get fit again and it just developed from there. Prior to being ill, I was active in team sports but I thought 10km was a big ride. I now cycle about 200km a week,” Nick said.
His sponsors make donations to Haematology charities and he has been working with the Welsh Blood Service to get the message out about Blood Donation.
The Old Man’s Coffee Club will continue to fundraise for the Welsh Blood Service. Nick Topley added: “People don’t realise that both before and after a transplant, most patients need blood transfusions to help them recover. I feel I have been blessed and have a duty to raise awareness and to give back. I will be competing again in Coventry 2020 with a view to qualifying for the World Transplant Games in Houston in 2021.”
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