Meet our Mountaineer

27-year-old Phil from Durham wouldn’t be where he is today without The Bubble. Aged 15, when most teenagers are enjoying going out with friends and having fun, Phil suffered a life-threatening illness and had to spend months living in a confined ‘Bubble’ at the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Newcastle.

Phil was diagnosed with life-threatening Chronic Granulomatous Disorder – also known as CGD – a rare immune disorder when he was around three years old. A bone marrow transplant is the only cure for CGD and Phil made the tough decision to go ahead to give himself the best chance of a normal, healthy life.

Phil made a full recovery after his transplant and now lives medication-free, working full-time in accounts at Durham University and enjoying a healthy, happy lifestyle. He holds The Bubble Foundation very close to his heart and now even sits on its Board, supporting its vital work.

Phil said: “Back when I had my transplant 15 years ago, the success rate was around 60 per cent. After I’d had it, I was just waiting to feel ill, but thankfully that never materialised. It was a very scary time. It’s tough staying on the ward in isolation too and can be quite boring, especially as I was a 15 year old teenager at the time, wanting to be out with my friends and living a normal life.

The staff on the ward were great though and thanks to The Bubble Foundation, I had games and activities to get involved in to help take my mind off what was going on and stave off some of the boredom.

“I now work in finance at Durham University and I recently bought my first house with my girlfriend. 11 years on from my transplant, with the support of my family and The Bubble Foundation, I am living a normal life.”