Girl who shamed Blair over NHS reaches 18

Joanne Ginley

HER family feared she would never reach adulthood but Alice Maddocks has proved them wrong by celebrating her 18th birthday.

Today, Alice is in remission from her bone marrow disorder, although no donor was ever found. Last year she was given the news she had a secondary bone marrow disease but remains positive and hopes to study medicine at university.

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Alice, who celebrated the milestone at the weekend with a party attended by family and friends said: “I feel brilliant now.

“I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything or feel like I’m worse off for having the disease. A lot of good has come out of it and a lot of people will be helped for a long time by the changes that have come.

“I had a lot of positive energy and a loving family around me. There’s no medical explanation as to how I got better, so it’s a bit of a miracle really.”

Alice, of Hanging Heaton, Dewsbury, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder in 2000. Her plight humbled former Prime Minister Tony Blair into pledging to improve the bone marrow register.

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Mother Carol Maddocks said: “We are just so lucky, I remember when Alice was poorly I couldn’t even think about her reaching 18 because we never thought that she would live that long. She is so positive and really does live life to the full.”

Mrs Maddocks came to prominence during the 2001 General Election campaign when she described on the BBC’s Question Time programme, in which Mr Blair was a panellist, how the NHS was letting down Alice. Mr Blair later met Mrs Maddocks, at Downing Street and pledged to improve registries of donors.

To add your name to the bone marrow or blood donor register call NHS Blood and Transplant team on 0300 123 23 23 or visit