PAUL Nicholas thought he was just unfit and hadn't been sleeping well when he started struggling to walk up the stairs without becoming out of breath.

Yet Mr Nicholas, 65, had a rare form of blood cancer - Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS).

Thankfully charity Bloodwise was on hand to support him and his family - and now son Mark, of Newbridge, is organising a fundraising event to say thank you to the organisation.


MDS are a group of diseases in which the production of blood cells, both red and white, by the bone marrow is faulty - meaning the cells aren’t as efficient at carrying oxygen around the body, fighting infections and preventing bleeding.

Symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath even on light exertion, and easy bruising and bleeding.

“The symptoms just look like everyday problems,” Mark Nicholas said.

“If you have got these symptoms, just please go and get them checked out.

“Please keep going back to the doctors if they don’t go away after treatment – even if you have to go back two or three times.”

Although the condition can lead to leukaemia, Mr Nicholas’ risk is deemed to be low.

South Wales Argus:

Mark and Paul Nicholas

Paul Nicholas was a regular blood donor but, after being told his blood levels were too low for three consecutive years, he decided to see the doctor. After a number of tests, he was diagnosed a few weeks ago.

In thanks for the support his father has been given by Bloodwise, Mark Nicholas, along with a friend, Rebecca, who lost her partner to a different form of blood cancer, has organised an event to raise money for the charity.

Mr Nicholas said the intention of the event, to be held at Newbridge Rugby Club on Saturday, February 22, 2020 was "two-pronged" - both to raise awareness of the charity, and provide funds for an organisation that receives no government funding.

Neon Ballroom will be performing on the night, waiving their appearance fee, and a raffle will be conducted – with prizes donated from celebrities including TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, who has donated outfits and a signed photobook, as well as the Stereophonics and Ricky Gervais, who have both provided signed photographs.

Local businesses have also supplied raffle prizes, and the rugby club has also waived their fees.

“I cannot believe how much support we are getting,” Mr Nicholas said.

“I thought, I can’t give up on my dad so I can’t give up on Bloodwise.”

They have sold 170 tickets in under a week – if you’re interested in attending the event on February 22, 2020, follow this link.

Bloodwise funds research into treatments and provide support and information to those afflicted by blood cancer.