For years George had known his white blood cell count was too high, but as it was just outside the normal range and with the reassurance of his GP, he just got on with his life. As the years passed George realised he was putting on weight, so he embarked on a healthy eating regime, but very quickly realised something was wrong.

“All of a sudden, I weighed myself and I’d lost 20 kilograms. I thought, ‘I’m not that good’, and so I went to see the GP and he referred me to Professor Ross Baker.” – George

After being referred to Professor Baker, George was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). He was immediately put on medication to lower his white blood cell count.

The treatment was successful, however as soon as he stopped taking the medication his white blood cell count would soar. This was a cycle he repeated several times before he was tested for his eligibility to be part of a clinical trial at the Perth Blood Institute.

The trial was testing a new combination of drugs to treat CLL, and while he was outside the normal age of acceptance into the trial, his test results showed he was fit and healthy enough to take part.

Before starting the trial in earnest, George spent four days at Hollywood Hospital receiving infusions to see how he reacted. These ranged from a few hours to 17 hours in length. He responded well to the treatment and officially started the trial.

The trial began and two years later, George was completely free of CLL. He has now been free of CLL for three and a half years.

When asked whether the experience of being on a clinical trial was difficult, George explained that as an Air Force ex-serviceman, he had lived his life in a strict regime for 20 years, so entering a medical trial was an easy transition.

“I look forward to visiting Perth Blood Institute to see the people who were looking after me. They were all so kind and generous in what they did.”– George