Charity work earns former Thorncombe man an MBE

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:28 09 January 2017

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A former Thorncombe man who has dedicated more than 30 years to raising money for a blood cancer charity has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Richard Delderfield has volunteered for Bloodwise since losing his teenage son, Paul, to leukaemia in 1985.

He was awarded the MBE for services to the charity, which changed its name from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in 2015, and to the local Thorncombe community.

Richard, 74, who is honorary president of the national charity, lost his mother to leukaemia when she was just 42. His son Paul was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in October 1984, when he had just started sixth form.

Richard said: “After six treatments of chemotherapy, he was fine, but the disease returned very quickly. He was given the latest treatment, but lost his brave fight and passed away in August 1985. He was 17.”

In 1985, months after their son’s death, Richard and his wife Angela joined Sir Ian Botham on his first legendary John O’Groats to Land’s End fundraising walk to beat childhood leukaemia.

Richard was inspired by the cause and has joined Sir Ian on every walk since 1992, becoming the collections organiser for the walks. He was also instrumental in setting up and organising many of the charity’s Bikeathon events, both locally and nationally, which have raised millions of pounds.

Richard and Angela lived in Thorncombe between 2002 and 2013 before moving to Suffolk.

Richard said: “I am humbled, yet proud and honoured to have been awarded an MBE, not only for my service and dedication to Bloodwise, but also for my community involvement in Thorncombe.”

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