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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Bishop to have second transplant
Bishop of Portsmouth
Rt Rev Kenneth Stevenson will undergo chemotherapy
The Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth is to have a second bone marrow transplant to combat the return of leukaemia.

The Right Rev Kenneth Stevenson, 57, will continue with his public duties before undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in July.

Details of the donor have not been revealed. The procedure will take place at Southampton General Hospital.

A bone marrow biopsy revealed the disease had returned after doctors noticed his blood counts had fallen.

It has been a blow to hear this news, but I'm going to do my best not to let this illness defeat me
Bishop Stevenson

Bishop Stevenson said: "Everything was going swimmingly until 10 days ago, when the doctors noticed that my blood counts had fallen.

"I haven't felt any symptoms, and they have discovered it as early as they possibly could do.

"The doctors have been very firm that it is worth a second bone marrow transplant because I am still very fit and because I coped so well with the new bone marrow last time around."

Bishop Stevenson hopes to return to his public ministry duties five months after the second transplant, which should be around Christmas.

He was first diagnosed with leukaemia in September 2005 and underwent chemotherapy before returning to work at Easter 2006.

After being diagnosed a second time in June 2006, he was given his first bone marrow transplant in December 2006.

Book launch

Bishop Stevenson remained off sick until 13 May this year.

"Between now and July, I intend to continue with as many things as I can," he added.

"I hope to be at diocesan synod in the cathedral on 23 June, after which there will be the launch of my latest book.

"I also want to ordain our new deacons and priests in the cathedral on 30 June.

"It has been a blow to hear this news, but I'm going to do my best not to let this illness defeat me."

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