x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Long row to help cancer research in UAE

Dubai man's marathon charity rowing challenge will raise money towards establishment of a bone marrow registry in the UAE.

Steven Mitchell uses a rowing machine to row 500km at Bodyworks Gym in JBR to raise money for a bone marrow register in the UAE. Razan Alzayani / The National
Steven Mitchell uses a rowing machine to row 500km at Bodyworks Gym in JBR to raise money for a bone marrow register in the UAE. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // A man is rowing the equivalent of Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah and back to highlight the need for a UAE bone marrow registry.

Steven Mitchell, from the UK, is 400 kilometres into his 500km Ramadan challenge on an indoor rowing machine. His schedule involves 20, 25km sessions, which he said would take him about 40 hours.

"I'm really suffering from this now, I've got major tendinitis in my left arm and I've got pretty bad back pain," said Mr Mitchell.

Funds raised will go to Cancer Research UK, but he also hopes to raise awareness and support for a bone marrow registry in the UAE.

Mr Mitchell, 33, works in Dubai for finance company Holborn Assets and hopes more donors will come forward before the end of Ramadan.

He has lived in the UAE for five years and recently lost his father-in-law, Hassib, to cancer. He hopes a bone marrow register would lead to better care for sufferers and raise awareness of the disease.

"I've got involved with some meetings before to raise finance for a cancer centre and the person I was speaking to raised some horrific stats about cancer in the UAE," he said.

"The prevalence is relative to most other countries, but the number of diagnoses are below the rest of the world.

By having the facility for a bone marrow registry, you will screen more for the signs of cancer and bring it to the forefront of people's minds.

That will mean they can be screened for different cancers and more people will have a better chance of survival."

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Row4Ramadan.

ksinclair@thenational.ae