A CLYDEBANK High teacher battling leukaemia is feeling “back to his old self” just months after being told a bone marrow transplant hadn’t worked effectively.

Graham Simpson, who has worked in the school since 2001 as a chemistry and pastoral care teacher, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in November 2017.

The 56-year-old spent six weeks in hospital before being transferred to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre for intense chemotherapy.

Pupils and staff raised more than £22,000 for the Beatson after taking part in a Santa Dash, with the Clydebank community and beyond adding their support.

Graham told the Post: “What the school did last year is still talked about when I go to the Beatson.

“Everyone says that it is amazing, and when I told them they were doing it again this year, they thought it was incredible.

“It’s only big corporate companies that raise as much as they did.”

The Beatson previously said that it was the biggest amount ever donated by a school.

In March 2018, a 26-year-old bone marrow donor was found in Switzerland and Graham received the transplant.

He said: “After the bone marrow transplant, the pain came back in my leg, so it hadn’t worked effectively.”

Despite this, more treatment and chemotherapy has been administered to kill off the disease, and more than 800 pupils and staff took part in another run to raise even more for the charity.

Graham added: “The staff at the Beatson are more like friends. I still go to get my chemotherapy and the level of care they provide is just incredible.

“I’m feeling so much better and back to my old self.

“I feel like I could have taken part in the Santa Dash!

“I’m on my seventh session of chemotherapy and hopefully only got one more left.

“The support has helped me through. It would be easy to sit and wallow, but when you know you have all the pupils and staff behind you it makes a difference.

“When I come to the school for visits pupils say to me ‘you’re looking good’, and it does give me a boost.”

More than £7,000 was donated after the second Santa Dash took place on December 20, and pupils ran a half-marathon around their school with Graham being able to watch.

Jennifer Walton, 17, completed the Santa Dash in 34 minutes.

She said: “It was really fun and for a good cause to raise as much as we can for The Beatson.

“I took part last year as well. The total raised then was quite a shock and a great effort from everyone to raise as much as we did.”

Graham’s Clydebank High teaching colleague Mark Hunter, who helped co-ordinate the event this year, said: “Last year was motivated through sad events.

“We were all there for Graham day by day through his treatment, but this year is more positive because he is here enjoying the action. His health and fitness have improved.

“The amount raised last year was really special. It just took off – the whole community got behind us.

“Parents were even taking cards round their work to help raise money.

“Getting the support that we do from the community really strikes a chord. Clydebank is quite peculiar in a way, we like a fight.

“We’re fighting against cancer and the pupils are outstanding. They really do care for people that need the support.”

Graham praised the school’s pupils and staff, and the wider community, for raising more than £30,000 during the two events to go towards helping the fight against cancer.

He said: “I am incredibly proud of all the pupils as well as the staff rallying together at this time of year in a really nice and positive way,

“I’m quite a positive person – there’s no way I’m going down, and the children pick up on this type of positivity.”