A man with cancer, who opted out of chemotherapy, was given a new lease of life after being given a drug that is not licensed in the UK.

Now his wife, Jackie, has raised thousands for charity in his memory.

Howard Gallimore, from Whalley, was diagnosed with a rare and complicated form of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in 2019.

Given a grim prognosis with very little hope of a cure, Howard opted out of intensive chemotherapy at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Determined to make the most of their time together, the couple embarked on trips to Bristol, Plymouth, Jersey, the Lakes, and the Dales, cherishing every moment spent with family, especially their one-year-old granddaughter, Dot.

In August that year, despite the odds, Howard's condition remained stable.

Seeking a second opinion, they turned to The Christie hospital's haematology department, where specialists fought for Howard to receive a new drug, Gilteritinib, that is still unlicensed in the UK.

This marked a turning point, injecting hope into their lives and within days of starting the treatment, Howard's symptoms disappeared, and they began to live again.

His newfound lease on life saw him rekindle his passion for cycling and enjoying many other cherished moments.

Throughout the challenges of lockdown in March 2020, Howard continued cycling, this time on a turbo trainer on their patio, making the most of the weather and keeping as fit as possible and embracing life to the fullest.

Lancashire Telegraph: Jackie Gallimore and friends at The Tree of Hope in The Christie Garden Jackie Gallimore and friends at The Tree of Hope in The Christie Garden (Image: Nq/Christie)

Howard died in in December 2020, aged 65, but Jackie said the Gilteritinib pills allowed him to live his life to the full after diagnosis.

Jackie said: "When lockdown was eased, we went to our caravan near Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales, which became our haven.

"We were able to see friends and family there, enjoying the outdoors, BBQs and some amazing sunsets."

"Those three little pills each day kept him going for 15 months until the leukaemia cells again began to multiply, which we always knew they would.

"We said goodbye to Howard in December 2020, but I have memories that I would not have it if weren’t for The Christie – they gave us so much extra time which Howard enjoyed to the full."

Howard was a member of Clitheroe Bike Club and shortly after he died, his friends at the club decided to take part in a memorial bike ride for Howard and to raise money for the Christie Charity.

This kick-started Jackie’s fundraising campaign, so to honour Howard's memory and express gratitude to The Christie hospital, she decided to embark on the Dales 30 Challenge, climbing 30 hills/peaks in the Yorkshire and Cumbrian Dales to raise funds for The Christie Charity.

When Jackie had raised more than £15,000, Howard's name was added to a leaf on the Tree of Hope in The Christie Garden on November 18, 2022.

Jackie continued with her fundraising and, with unwavering support from friends and members of the Clitheroe Mountaineering Club, she completed her 30th climb on September 11, 2023.

Lancashire Telegraph: Jackie Gallimore and son, MichaelJackie Gallimore and son, Michael (Image: Nq/Christie)

Jackie celebrated with a second ascent of Pen y Ghent on September 17 accompanied by 23 friends and her daughter Emily and boyfriend Anthony, commemorating Howard's spirit and resilience.

Jackie's remarkable efforts have raised more than £23,000 for The Christie Charity to date.

She said: "I will forever be indebted to the staff at The Christie haematology department.

"It is my wish to continue raising and donating money directly to The Christie Charity to support the work the hospital does in researching and finding new treatments, like Gilteritinib to fight Leukaemia."

Laura Hulme, philanthropy manager at The Christie Charity said: “We are incredibly grateful to Jackie and her family for their support of The Christie Charity.

"Without people like Jackie, we wouldn’t be able to support the hospital in providing award-winning care, treatment and research.”