Author’s poetic thank you to the charity which saved son-in-law’s life

Howard Robinson says that he feels indebted to Anthony Nolan


Author Howard Robinson with his anthology, Learning From Life (Photo: Howard Robinson)

An east London author will donate the proceeds from his latest work, a poetry anthology, to the charity that helped save his son-in-law's life.

Howard Robinson’s first poetry collection Learning from Life, containing over 30 poems written across several years, went on sale for £10 on Amazon last week, and the profits are going to the UK’s largest stem cell donor register and research centre, Anthony Nolan.

Robinson’s son-in-law Darren was 30 when he was suddenly diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. After months of chemotherapy, Darren learnt he would need a stem cell transplant and, in February 2022, Anthony Nolan’s donor register matched Darren with an anonymous 29-year-old man in the US who provided him with the life-saving transplant.

With an “overwhelming desire to give something back” now that his son-in-law is nearly back to full health, Robinson, from Woodford, who works by day in consultancy PR and marketing, decided to find a way to raise money for the charity that made Darren’s vital transplant possible.

“I can’t do anything physical; I'm not built for athletics... but one of the things I’ve always done is written,” said Robinson. “I've written four novels. I'm currently working on my fifth novel, and I’ve always written poetry.”

Having shared many of his poems with friends and family on Facebook and received positive comments, Robinson had the idea to pair his love for writing with his desire to raise funds for the charity. He curated a collection of his best-loved poems from over the years, some of which are light-hearted and humorous, while others are more sombre, and self-published the anthology with the support of Anthony Nolan.

The fundraising effort is fulfilling two roles, Robinson said: to raise money for Anthony Nolan — it costs the charity £40 to add each new donor to the register — and to raise awareness of the donor register so that more people will sign up for the life-saving service. According to Anthony Nolan’s website, roughly 2,400 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant every year.

Robinson said: “I now have a 32-year-old son-in-law who’s fit and healthy, whom I love to bits, who potentially wouldn’t be here without Anthony Nolan.”

Learning from Life: An Anthology of Poetry

By Howard Robinson


Click here to buy the book.

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