Corby man features in art installation as part of blood cancer awareness month

Henry McKenzie.
Henry McKenzie.

A Corby man is one of 104 in the country to feature in an art exhibition as part of a campaign to raise awareness of blood cancer.

Henry McKenzie, 58, was diagnosed with a type of incurable blood cancer called myeloma in 2011.

The art exhibition.

The art exhibition.

September is blood cancer awareness month and, with 104 people a day being diagnosed with blood cancer, the names and height of 104 people living with the illness were made into an art exhibition in London.

One of those 104 is Henry and he says it’s nice to be recognised.

He said: “I went to my GP with fatigue and had a few tests and was diagnosed with this type of blood cancer.

“I have managed to keep going with work [as a fashion merchandiser] apart from when I have chemo, when I have to take three or four months off.

“I’ve been lucky in that yes, I’m suffering a serious condition, but I’ve managed to not be that ill and keep working.

“I’m proud to be part of this exhibition and I’ve made myself visible, it’s good to be recognised.”

The exhibition, in Paternoster Square next to St Paul’s Cathedral, features the story of each of the 104 people that took part and is there all month.

The exhibition aims to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of the cancer to help encourage people to go and see their doctor earlier.

Henry, who is married with two sons and two step-daughters, two grandsons and one step-grandson, says people shouldn’t put off visiting their doctor.

He added: “When I first started noticing things I thought it was something more like diabetes.

“But I was diagnosed early and that’s the fortunate part.

“If you have any concerns go and see your GP, do not leave it.”

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer arising from plasma cells, a type of white blood cell which is made in the bone marrow.

Unlike many cancers, myeloma does not exist as a lump or tumour.

Most of the symptoms and complications related to myeloma are caused by the build-up of the abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow and the presence of the paraprotein in the blood and/or in the urine.