PM awards man from Harrogate for raising over £200,000 for Blood Cancer charity

9 May 2024

A man from Harrogate, who is aiming to raise £300,000 for ‘Blood Cancer UK’ after his wife passed away from leukaemia, a form of blood cancer, has received Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s daily Points of Light award.

James Badger’s wife, Philippa, passed away just 36 hours after being diagnosed with leukaemia, at the age of 42 in 2022. Since then James has dedicated himself to making a difference to those affected by blood cancer, through raising awareness and fundraising for ‘Blood Cancer UK’.

Wanting to do something significant for the first anniversary of Philippa’s death, and inspired by Lord Ian Botham OBE and his awareness raising for childhood Leukaemia in the 1980s, last year James set himself the fundraising challenge of cycling over 1,000 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats in 8 days, raising over £200,000.

Over the May bank holiday weekend, James cycled the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest through his ‘Ride to the Stars’ challenge, cycling up the Lackon Bank in Birstwith, and beyond, a total of 90 times. The challenge saw James pass the school that Philippa was involved in, and the church where she is buried. James is aiming to raise enough money to support the funding of a three-year acute myeloid leukaemia research project at Cardiff University.


Congratulating James on his award, the Rt Hon Julian Smith CBE, James’s local MP for Skipton and Ripon, said:

I’m delighted that James has been recognised by the Prime Minister for his efforts to raise an extraordinary amount of money for ‘Blood Cancer UK’.

He and his family have been through the most devastating loss but to see him mark it in this way is simply inspirational and will make a real difference to lives across the country.

I wish him the very best of luck on his next challenge.


Helen Rowntree, Chief Executive of ‘Blood Cancer UK’, said:

James’s fundraising has been nothing short of inspirational, not only for the blood cancer community but for anyone who’s come across his story. After the sudden death of his wife Phillipa, from acute myeloid leukaemia in 2022, James has dedicated himself to raising the profile and funding research into this aggressive form of blood cancer.

James’s fundraising is supporting the development of more treatment options for acute myeloid leukaemia, improving survival rates. James is giving hope to so many affected by blood cancer, the UK’s fifth most common cancer. On behalf of everyone in the ‘Blood Cancer UK’ community, we send James our congratulations for the award and this hugely well deserved recognition from the Prime Minister.


James said:

I’m delighted to be receiving the Points of Light award on behalf of the team effort to raise awareness into blood cancer and funds for research into the disease with the charity ‘Blood Cancer UK’. I hope that in my small way I can make a difference for thousands of sufferers in the future.

James is the 2313th recipient of the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others. Each weekday, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

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