A CLYDEBANK teacher is in hospital with a serious blood cancer as his school rallies behind him and prepares for a major fundraising drive.

Graham Simpson, who is a chemistry and pastoral care teacher at Clydebank High, has been in hospital for two months after he got severe pain in his arms and legs.

The 55-year-old was in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for six weeks before they moved him to the Beatson and he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Graham, who has taught at the school since 2001, has now completed two weeks of chemotherapy and it’s rid him of the pain in his limbs – but also nearly completely destroyed his immune system.

Half marathon and 10k runner Graham, speaking from the Beatson, told the Post: “I have never experienced anything as bad as the pain in my arms and legs. They have effectively wiped out my immune system. You’re at the mercy of bugs.

“I will be here for another three weeks to see how my system recovers and whether the bone marrow comes back normal or with the cancer.”

Graham choked up when asked about the support of the school and their fundraising plans.

“It’s amazing, really amazing,” he said. “Lots of retired colleagues have been up to visit me and I know the kids will step up to the plate because they always do. They’re giving me support.”

Graham – known as Dr Simpson to pupils – made a video of what he’s going through that will be shown to school classes and the Anthony Nolan Trust was speaking to S5 and S6 youngsters on Monday.

The charity will be back on Tuesday to take samples from pupils who want to be on the donor register for blood stem cells or bone marrow, hopefully topping the 10,000th person to join.

Lorraine Simpson, Graham’s wife and depute head at the school, said the local support has been incredible.

She said: “The school has been amazing – so many good wishes, people sending positive thoughts, wee gifts to keep his mind and stomach occupied, regular texts and WhatsApp pictures to keep his spirits up.

“They’ve even set up a rota for visiting so everyone doesn’t go at once.

“The school have also been so supportive of me, with constant offers of help, time if I need it, encouraging comments, flowers and cards.

“Clydebank High staff are like one big family and it’s a lovely feeling to know that so many people are sending Graham their positive thoughts and good wishes.”

The disease acute myeloid leukaemia was in the news at the weekend after Sky Sports anchor Simon Thomas announced the sudden death of his wife Gemma, just three days after she was diagnosed with the blood cancer.

Graham added: “I hope we can make a significant amount of money to give back to the Beatson, because I have had some fantastic care.

“There is no room for negativity here and they make people feel good and that’s a big part of getting better.”

Clydebank High will be raising money for the Beatson and patients with leukaemia and any cancer with a non-uniform day on December 19, with all pupils donating £1 to the cause and hold a Santa Dash – complete with musical encouragement – to bring in even more.

Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/dash-for-the-doc, or text a donation to DFTD54.