Obituary: Dr Steve McEwan

Colleagues at the Anthony Nolan Trust have described Dr Steve McEwan as a gentle giant who led the charity with enthusiasm and a healthy dose of scepticism.

Dr Steve McEwan
Dr Steve McEwan

McEwan, who died in a road accident on 15 September, aged 48, joined the leukaemia research charity in 1994 after working as an accountant. Under his leadership, the trust set up the Cell Therapy Centre in Nottingham, which researches transplants. A bone marrow donor himself, McEwan was proud of the charity's bone marrow donor register, which was the first in the world.

Colleagues said McEwan valued the experience of his colleagues and was happy to change his mind if someone else had a better idea. They said they remembered with fondness when the charity received a large financial donation from a supporter and he danced down the corridor.

He was a board member and treasurer of the World Marrow Donor Association, where he is remembered for his sense of humour, good advice and friendship.

In his spare time, McEwan was a keen musician and fan of jazz and 1970s rock.

Professor Ghulam J Mufti, professor of haemato-oncology at King's College London, said: "Steve has given a unique gift of life to so many patients suffering from haematological cancers.

"His dogged determination, leadership, gentle manner and smiling face led to the successful launch and completion of a complex project for an umbilical cord cell bank, a fantastic gift not only to the leukaemia sufferers in the UK but worldwide. Patients with blood cancers and the staff who care for them will forever remain in Steve's debt."

Simon Dyson, chair of the Anthony Nolan Trust, said: "Steve made an enormous contribution to the success of the trust during his first eight years as financial controller and then his five years as chief executive.

"The charity was an enormous part of his life and he never stopped thinking about how we could save even more lives. He will be greatly missed by all who had had the privilege of meeting him."

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