Pride of Britain 2021: Dad given months to live wins award after travels to the 'moon'

  • Watch the moment Merv finds out he is a Pride of Britain winner.

A father of three who was given months to live has won a Pride of Britain fundraiser award to recognise the work he's done after having life-saving treatment.

Merv Lawrence from South Gloucestershire was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune bone marrow disease while in the Army 14 years ago.

The condition inhibited blood cell production, and Merv was told he had just nine months left to live. Thankfully he was given a life-saving bone marrow transplant and is now on a mission to help others.

He has since raised thousands of pounds for charities that have supported him and his family by running and cycling the equivalent distance it would take to get from Earth to the Moon.

Merv travelling in his 'rocket'. Credit: ITV News

After being surprised with the award, Merv said: "That's absolutely incredible, thank you very much.

"I've seen the other nominations, and to be held in the same regard as them is very humbling. I accept this on behalf of all the Moontrekkers.

"I'm very happy that what this challenge was about and what it meant has come across. It just goes to show wearing a silly space suit for six months and looking ridiculous was actually worth it."

Merv got the idea from hearing his wife tell their children, 'I love you to the moon and back,' every night before bed.

He has raised more than £30,000 since, which he will share with four charities - including the British Heart Foundation, which has supported his son, Teddy.

Merv's three children including teddy (centre), who was born with holes in his heart and needed surgery at just nine weeks old. Credit: Family picture.

Merv completed the first 2,000 miles of his journey alone, but then 127 volunteers or 'Moontrekkers' covered the rest of the distance over six months - sometimes with him - sometimes alone.

One of his supporters, Sophie Hicks, said: "He's just one of those people whose personality is infectious.

"This started off as just an idea, and he brought it to life. So many people have got involved and his family have been through so much and all his focus on is about giving back."