Stem cells

Waterworks - 26 March - 2 of 22

237 runners today at Belfast Waterworks - the photo album is here, parkrun results here.  I was aiming for less than 40 minutes again today, and pleased with 37:05. 

_Runkeeper_Data_WaterworksIt was great to have BT colleague Mark Crothers running with me again.  Last week at Victoria Park, Mark kept reminding me to keep my head up - helps breathing - and these reminders were necessary again.  Waterworks has two inclines; you go up each twice and 'small steps' is the approach to
take.  On one incline, I was finding it tough going and Mark said "Keep breathing!".  This took me straight back to the day in December 2014 when I walked into Belfast City Hospital Ward 10 North for stem cell transplant, not totally relaxed, and the admitting nurse said "All you have to do is keep breathing!"  Generally good advice.

It was also great to have Patricia McAuley and friends Heather Chestnutt, Karl & Kerri Thrower, Parkrun Jim, Eric Morrison, David Mark, Alistair Shaw and Claire Bell running today.

Rosy Ryan had been in touch before today, and I hope to catch up with Rosy about her own life and running experiences later in the year. When I found the going getting tough today, Rosy deployed a catchy mantra...

"My feet are light, my legs are strong, I can keep this pace all day long!"

On Easter Monday, I'm off to India with work for a couple of weeks, where I intend to stay fit and lose some more weight - one stone down, two stone still to go.  Below, there's the updated progress against objectives table.

I wish you a very Happy Easter, and look forward to seeing people at Bangor's Ward Park on 16 April

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £6538
People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 62
People who have signed up with parkrun: 4

Tim's Running Progress

Run # Date Course Run Time Position Age Grade
1 19 March Belfast Victoria 36:22 177/209 41.20%
 2 26 March Belfast Waterworks  37:05  222/237  


Victoria Park - 19 March - 1 of 22

A great turnout today at Victoria Park for the launch of TimPageFitForLife - the photo album is here.

parkrun results lists today's 209 runners... congratulations to Alistair Shaw and Jonathan Cupples on their first parkrun.  I was aiming to beat 40 minutes, so really pleased with a Personal Best 'PB' of 36:22.  As you can see, I was a bit late stopping runkeeper...


With access to Victoria Park's pavilion, we registered 30 more people as prospective stem cell donors with Delete Blood Cancer.  This is a potentially life-saving act - thank you to Ruth, Joanne and all the people who signed up today.

Project Objectives

Raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma: £6067
People registered with Delete Blood Cancer: 60
People who have signed up with parkrun: 3

Tim's Running Progress

Run # Date Course Run Time Position Age Grade
1 19 March Belfast Victoria 36:22 177/209 41.20%


Thank you to family, friends, colleagues and everyone for support in the run-up to today.


Help Delete Blood Cancer

DBC-leafletBig thanks to Belfast City Council for confirming today that, after tomorrow's parkrun, #TimPageFitForLife can use one of the rooms in Victoria Park Pavilion to enable people to register as prospective stem cell donors with Delete Blood Cancer.

Blood cancers affect the production and function of your blood cells.  For many blood cancer patients, a stem cell donation is their only chance of survival, but around 50% of patients never find the match they need.  The more donors that sign up, the more lives can be saved.

To register as a potential stem cell donor, you must be

  • 17-55 years old
  • in good general health
  • willing to donate to any person in need

If you meet these requirements, you can complete a consent form & swab the inside of your cheeks to collect cells to be sent off for analysis.

For more information on signing up with Delete Blood Cancer, call into the Pavilion from 09.45 and you speak with one of the team.

There's a good video on donation here.


At the pool of Bethesda

“At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus healed a man who couldn't walk” – John 5:1-15

Unwell through Autumn 2013, with relapsed aggressive lymphoma, I lived in Belfast City Hospital for nearly 6 months.  Over time I lost power and mobility, due to weakness and being confined to bed with up to 6 pumps attached to me for a week at a time.

BCH-pumpsSuffering from ‘cabin fever’, I recall a precious half hour ‘jailbreak’ in the sun outside the Cancer Centre with son Chris, and Chris Agnew, as we enjoyed a Polly Pineapple each.

By May 2014, convalescence was progressing.  Ruth and I could visit Barcelona for our wedding anniversary.  By the sea, there’s a spacious plaza and I could barely contain the sheer pleasure of being alive, well and able to walk about freely under the expansive blue sky.  Truly, “He had led me into an open space.” (Psalm 18:19)

At Bethesda, Jesus did not say “Get up, take your bedroll and sit down to watch Jeremy Kyle on daytime TV.”

Rather, he asked a question, “Do you want to get well?”, and then directed the invalid of 38 years to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Along with Jesus’ gift of healing came freedom, individual autonomy and an opportunity to move forwards.

On return to work on 1 September 2014, I was still weak.  Signing up with a Personal Trainer for two sessions a week proved to be a good decision and I’m now the strongest I’ve ever been.  Getting fitter, I resolved to complete a 5k run in 2015 and, on Saturday 5-November, I joined 161 runners to run three laps of Belfast’s Victoria Park.  The encouraging words of other runners and onlookers – “You can do it!”, “Nearly there!”, “Keep going!” – remain with me three months later.  Of 162 runners, I finished 162nd.  But I finished.  Exhausted, I sat down.  Suddenly, tears of gratitude for running the race.  A lingering parkrun volunteer greeted this trailing runner.  His presence, positivity and gentle support will remain with me for ever.

In December, I decided to set myself the challenge of running all 22 Northern Ireland parkruns.  Then, on New Year’s Eve 2015, Roger Grant encouraged me (that word again!) to run in support of a charity. 

So, from March, each Saturday, I will join each NI parkrun to advance the aims of a “Fit For Life” project which include: Portrush space

  1. Raising £5000 for local research charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI
  2. Encouraging people to register with Delete Blood Cancer as potential stem cell donors
  3. Promoting the benefits of fitness for everyone

The first run will be 19-March at Victoria Park.  On 16-April at 09.15, I’ll be at Bangor’s Ward Park.  You are welcome to come along to run or to cheer people on.

In the words of hymn 739 - “May I run the race before me, strong and brave to face the foe, looking only unto Jesus as I onward go.”

For more information on this project see