A TOP Glasgow scientist helping to develop a new treatment for leukaemia is to take on a huge sporting challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Shaun Patterson hopes people will dig deep to donate to the charity in support of his Edinburgh Marathon effort on May 28.

The Knightswood man, 29, carries out vital work at the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre at Gartnavel Hospital as a post-doctoral researcher. He is also part of a team conducting investigations on a recent UK-wide clinical trial involving patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia, funded by Cancer Research UK.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow that can be diagnosed at any age.

The treatment approach Shaun and his team are focused on could improve the quality of life for patients in remission.

He told the Glasgow Times: “Currently patients go on lifelong medication and the vast majority do really well on it. However, for some the side effects can impact on their quality of life and it can also increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.

“In 50 per cent of cases, patients can stop the medication and not have a relapse, but we don’t know how to figure out which patients can stop safely and that’s what our research is focused on. It could make a huge difference to many who are suffering side effects from medication.”

Both in and out of work, Shaun enjoys a challenge and every summer takes on one huge event to raise funds for a good cause.

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Two years ago, he trekked the West Highlands, covering 96 miles in five days, and last year completed an 85 mile hike on the Speyside Way.

In 2018 he took on his first marathon at Loch Ness and is now getting fit for his second in Edinburgh at the end of the month.

He says: “I didn’t do much during Covid so I’ve been building my fitness again up over the last few weeks.

“I try to do a long distance run every weekend to build up my endurance; it is a mental and a physical thing.

“I am testing my body by running as far as I can, aiming to reach 20 miles before the race, and then resting before the event.”

Glasgow Times: Shaun PattersonShaun Patterson (Image: Supplied)

As well as taking in some of the city’s iconic buildings, the route also goes along the East Lothian coastline and Shaun says he is looking forward to some of the picturesque sections of the run.

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He added “The scenery is great and there are always lots of people cheering you on, which is great - I just hope it doesn't rain!"

As well as pounding the pavements in preparation, Shaun has already been busy fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

He adds: “I see the impact Cancer Research UK has on research on a day to day basis. It is essential that this continues."

Fiona MacLeod, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Scotland, said: “It’s thanks to the support of people like Shaun that we are able to research kinder, more effective treatments for cancer.

“Anyone who already has a place in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Marathon can still join our fantastic team of runners. Or if you are inspired by Shaun’s experience, why not try one of our other runs or sporting events."

To sign up to run for the charity, visit cruk.org/marathon.

You can support Shaun’s appeal at here