Saffron Walden family raises £50k for leukaemia charities

From left, Max, Jodie, India and Daniel Rowlandson.

From left, Max, Jodie, India and Daniel Rowlandson. - Credit: Archant

A Saffron Walden mum has raised £50,000 for leukaemia charities after her son was diagnosed with the illness.

The mother-of-two is now taking on the London Marathon to fundraise for a friend’s three-year-old son, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a currently untreatable condition.

Jodie Rowlandson’s son Max, now 6, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010, and finally given the all-clear last year.

“We were very lucky that Max was cured, and that there is a cure - albeit a rather nasty on with horrible side-effects,” said Jodie, 36, who lives on Little Walden Road with husband Daniel, 39, and children Max and India, 4.

“It was a long, horrific journey, but he was cured, and there was hope, and there’s hope for other children with leukaemia. There are trials and research going on for muscular dystrophy, but as of yet no cure,” said Jodie, who will run the London Marathon next year with her friend Marie Devlin to raise money for research into her son Leo’s condition.

Jodie was pregnant with daughter India when she learnt of Max’s diagnosis and felt helpless at the news. Fundraising helped her focus her energy into something positive, she said.

“Mainly we’re collecting for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research just because we’ve experienced first-hand the work they do, and how the treatment has moved on even from when Max was diagnosed. It’s a less invasive treatment now, and a more effective one.”

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Jodie has helped organise a number of events to raise money for the charity, including ‘Metal for Max’, a metal concert orchestrated by Sewards End friend Steve Farr, coffee mornings, and a half marathon. A recent hamper raffle raised over £1,500, which took the money raised to £50,000. But Jodie will keep on going - with plans afoot for another Metal for Max 2015, as well as other events.

“Max is loving life now. He finished treatment just over a year ago, and has just gone from strength to strength,” said Jodie.

“He loves his swimming, that’s his favourite past-time, and golf and football too. I’m just amazed at how much energy he has now compared to before. He’s growing now too - before his growth was stunted.

“A lot of things are far more possible. It’s been a lovely year for us - we were able to go on our first family holiday, to Portugal. Max swam in the sea for the first time.”

To contribute towards Jodie and Marie’s run for Muscular Dystrophy, go to

The pair have already got off to a great start thanks to a £500 donation from The Diamonds, a group made up of like-minded women, many of whom were in the Ladies Circle, with a wide range of skills and know-how in organising and running charity events.