Friday 30 August 2013

Just doing it!

Lee Davis-Conchie - Face of the Anthony Nolan charity 
Just got back from visiting one of our school's instructors and good friend Lee Davis-Conchie. It was a good day to visit. Lee has been battling leukaemia for the last couple of years. Today he got the fantastic news that he is in remission and is set to have a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Usually people have a transplant after two lots of chemotherapy. This will be Lee's second transplant and he has just finished his ninth lot of chemo - the last lot being particularly hard. What's this got to do with Taijiquan?

Throughout his battle Lee has never stopped training. Staff in the Blackpool General hospital were dubious about him training his spear form after a day's chemotherapy! He has often come to class with a Hickman line sticking out of his chest - I confess to having been ignorant as to what this involved - its a line inserted into a large vein just above the heart, the other end hanging out of the chest, for drug administration etc... Last year he "broke out" of the cancer ward to come to Chen Ziqiang's seminar. In a reversal of the usual end of session photos Chen Ziqiang asked to have his picture taken with Lee, saying that his attitude was inspirational! 

If you looked at his Facebook page you wouldn't see any great fanfare - no breathless announcements
Just doing it!
"yaaaah I'm going out/I've just been out to do some Laojia". Just out with no excuses and doing it. Lee's attitude brings to mind a conversation we had with Tian Jingmiao, disciple of one of Chen Fake's most famous students Lei Muni. She compared Taijiquan training to brushing her teeth - just a normal part of her everyday routine - Nothing to make a big fanfare about.  Real achievement in Taijiquan, or any other martial art, comes from doggedness and consistency. We've all seen the flashes of blinding enthusiasm that have to be shared with everyone else - usually by beginners who shortly afterwards move on to the next thing. Or by those who desperately want others to know they are doing a bit of training. Serious practitioners have long since simply accepted training as part of their normal routine.

Lee is on his way to being a posterboy for the Anthony Nolan Charity, who recently took a series of photos highlighting his warrior spirit. The Anthony Nolan Charity was established in 1974 to create a register of donors willing to donate their bone marrow to people desperately needing a transplant. Since then over 10,000 people have been given another chance of life. The charity is always looking for new people to register as donors...


  1. Lee you're amazing. Respect.

  2. I really don't think I could have got through that much treatment without my Taiji. For that I am forever grateful to the Chen family for sharing the jewel that is Taijiquan and to my teachers, mentors and friends David and Davidine for transmitting the knowledge.
    If anyone is too old to get on the Anthony Nolan register then contact the blood transfusion service, they take donors till 50.

  3. You are an inspiration to me Lee. I wish you well on the road to recovery!

  4. Your so missed my good friend your always in my thoughts


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