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Race Against Blood Cancer breaks new ground with first donor match

Wednesday 15th November 2017 will go down in Race Against Blood Cancer history as the day that one of the donors that the team registered went on to successfully donate their stem cells in hope of saving the life of a patient in need.

After coming close on no less than 10 other occasions, the team were overjoyed to learn that James Burton had been invited to Harley Street, London, to carry out the important yet simple procedure. What made the news even more special was that James registered at the launch event for the charity in the summer of 2015, where the team held a dinner, dance and golf tournament to announce their arrival as a burgeoning charity with big ambitions.

James had originally been contacted to be a match last year but at the last minute, to his disappointment he was informed that he wasn’t required. This time around everything was smooth sailing. James had a nurse visit him 4 days prior to heading to the clinic, to give him an injection to stimulate the growth of his white cells and travelled to London the day before the procedure.

In the end James harvested his stem cells over the course of two days with the procedure itself painless as expected. For those of you following the live video footage via Facebook, you’ll have seen a very relaxed James occupying himself by playing Football Manager throughout, while being amused by Alex Morrison, our Community Engagement lead.

We would like to say a massive thank you to James – words cannot express how grateful we are to him. We would also like to thank all of those who have donated and continue to support Race Against Blood Cancer, DKMS and the incredible staff on the day at The London Clinic.

Witnessing the life changing impact their efforts have had for a blood cancer patient in need, the team is as motivated as ever to find the next James Burton and have some great plans in place to continue raising awareness of the lack of diversity of those signed up to the donor register and running many more donor drives to find many more matches.

James Burton Donating Donation Process 3 Donation Process James Burton and friends

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Race Against Blood Cancer trio take on the New York Marathon

On Sunday 5th November, Joe Bates, Andrew Pugh and John Fawcett took on the most famous marathon in the world – the New York Marathon.

For Andrew and John, the prospect of navigating the 26.2 mile course was a little less daunting as two marathon veterans. For Joe, who has been an integral member of the charity since its inception in 2015, he was attempting to complete the feat for the first time.

The trio got off to an early start, meeting at the New York Public Library at 5.45am to embark on an unusually long 3 hour coach journey to the start line in Staten Island. After a rousing rendition of Star Spangled Banner they were off.

The weather on the day was forgettable, although the cloudy skies and intermittent rain wasn’t enough to deter the 52,000 runners and over 1 million spectators lining the streets, along with live bands and DJ’s adding to an incredible carnival like atmosphere.

A huge thanks to the support team who cheered the guys along with notably mentions to Tom Sheppard who travelled over from England and Lucy Baumgartner who provided support both on the day and throughout.

All three runners performed admirably on the day, with a special call out to Andrew Pugh who broke his personal best time on a notoriously hilly course by crossing the finishing line at 3 hours and 29 minutes. Great job Andrew!

Most importantly the team raised over £6,000 which will prove to be invaluable in helping us to continue to raise awareness of the lack of diversity of those signed up to stem cell donor register and carry out donor drives in both the UK and US.

The whole event has been such a great success that we’ve applied for 5 spaces for the 2018 event. Fingers crossed that our application is successful and if you are interested in running on behalf of the charity and raising funds please get in touch with Joe: joe.bates@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

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A donor drive remembering Khaleel

On 29th July 2017, Race Against Blood Cancer helped organise the event “Remembering Khaleel”, in loving memory of Khaleel Khan, a 12-year-old boy, who sadly lost his battle to Leukaemia earlier in the year.

The event took place at The Duke in Telford and ran from 1 PM – 11.30 PM. The event included a number of stalls such as a tombola, a bouncy castle, hook-a-duck and live music acts every hour up until 8PM. As a boy full of love and life, the day’s events were then followed by a karaoke disco in the bar until 11.30 PM.

After such difficult times, seeing Khaleel’s family and friends enjoying the day and help educate others about blood cancer was vert heart-warming. Over 60 people attended the event and helped us raise £738 that will help Race Against Blood Cancer continue its efforts in giving every single blood cancer patient an equal chance.

We would like to give a special thanks to The Duke’s team for allowing us to use their venue for our event, Craig France for supplying the PA system and entertainment and Simon Holding for S.P. Holdings for the lorry trailer.

We would also like to thank all the music acts who dedicated their time to make this event a success and the local business for their raffle donations.

To Sarah Elsmore, Beth Elsmore, Jonathan Pickering, Liane Elsmore, Matthew Elsmore, Stuart Mcglynn, Carrieann Pickering, Jodie Thompson, Lindsey Jones, Louise Hurcomb, Alivia Elsmore, Jamie Sault, Kirsty Vernon, thank you for volunteering on the day and making it a success.

Khaleel’s family were very thankful for all the support the charity had shown as well as the donations and support from the community through Khaleel’s Leukaemia Journey.

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Stall at Remembering Khaleel


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Team Race Against Blood Cancer completes its second triathlon

On 22nd July, a team of 17 brave triathletes completed the AJ Bell London Triathlon for Race Against Blood Cancer. This was the second time Race Against Blood Cancer teams participated in the event to raise money for the charity and its ongoing efforts to help save lives.

Despite the weather not being on their side, the triathletes stayed strong and passed the finish line with smiles on their face and pride in their hearts.

Known to be the world’s largest triathlon attracting over 13,000 participants and 30,000 spectators, the AJ Bell Triathlon never disappoints. And 2017 was no exception. Offering many different formats and distances, Race Against Blood Cancer saw triathletes leave in various waves throughout the day.

We are immensely proud and appreciative of the of the great team effort that went into this event. Despite the hard work, sweat and tears, the team managed to raise thousands of pounds to help give every blood cancer patient an equal chance of finding a suitable match.

The Race Against Blood Cancer team would like to give a special thank you to our top individual fundraiser for this event, Maleena Pone, who despite never having been in to sports, she manged to fit triathlon training into her very busy weeks and learnt how to swim just for the event. Many thanks Maleena for being amazing and raising £700 for the charity via your mydonate page.

Maleena 1

Maleena 2.

Thank you to all those taking part in the event as well as the spectators who went to cheer the team on. You were all amazing! Special thanks also for the support of Global Accounting Team and Team Twenty 5 Eight.

We look forward to the 2018 event – if you would like to join our team next year, please reach out to ben.westwood@raceagainstbloodcancer.com for more information

Pre Triathlon warm up for the team Race Against Blood Cancer

The Race Against Blood Cancer triathlon team

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Google tops off a successful May for the Community Engagement Team

May was a busy month for the Community Engagement team in London with various donor drives including one at Flagz Carnival in Croydon and at Soul’d Out in Central London.

The busy month was topped off with a drive at Google’s Tottenham Court Road offices on 30th May. Despite being during half term, Alex and his team managed to register 100 new potential donors.

With only 20 registrations by 1PM, the team took fate in their hands and went desk to desk. They were overwhelmed with the willingness and interest of Googlers to help the cause and have already arranged a second donor drive in the same location at the end of August!

Race Against Blood Cancer would like to give a special thanks to Sam Smith for organising the drive, Googlers for their interest in the cause and to Alex Kiffin who volunteered at all Race Against Blood Cancer drives in May.


Team at Flagz Carnival




If you would like to organise a donor drive or volunteer for us, please contact us at donordrives@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

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Miracles do happen with two donor matches found in one week

Last week was a particularly rewarding week in our pursuit to give all blood cancer patients an equal chance to find a lifesaving donor match, with two young cancer patients finding that all important matching donor.

As previously featured, 5-year-old Tommy Simpson from the #Match4Tommy campaign was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January 2016. Being from a mixed White British and Black Caribbean heritage, Tommy’s chances of finding a suitable donor, like many other mixed heritage patients were sadly very slim (less than 20%).

In the UK, only 3% of donors on the register are from a mixed race background and sadly many lose the battle due to this lack of awareness. Despite the less than positive outlook, an unrelated matched stem cell donor was found for Tommy to the delight of his parents Maxine and Nigel Simpson.

Tommy Simpson
5 year old Tommy Simpson

In our more recent #Match4Khaleel campaign, 12-year-old Khaleel Khan from Telford, West Midlands has been undergoing treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and was desperately in need of a lifesaving transplant. His mixed English and Pakistani heritage left him with an equally difficult chance of finding a donor match.

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12 year old Khaleel Khan

In the same week that Tommy found his match, Khaleel’s mother Kelly, posted on Facebook:

“It is the news we have been waiting for. Khaleel has a match. Two matching live donors have been found – one from Germany and one from Canada. They are going ahead with the match from Germany, but will have the one from Canada as a backup. No words can describe how happy we are.”

A team of volunteers led by Gemma Elsmore at Asda Donnington for a donor drive to find a #Match4Khaleel
A team of volunteers led by Gemma Elsmore and Aaliyah Khan at Asda Donnington for a donor drive to find a #Match4Khaleel

Both Tommy and Khaleel’s family have urged the public to continue to come forward and register as a donor so that other patients in need of a match can be helped. If you have not yet signed up to the stem cell and bone marrow register and would like to do so online, you can sign up here today.

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Looking for Support at the Lilleshall Monumental Run

On Sunday 2nd April 2017 Race Against Blood Cancer will have several runners taking part in the Lilleshall Monumental 10K run to raise valuable funds to further our cause.

Even more importantly we plan to run a donor drive on the day in aid of the #Match4Khaleel campaign, which is an ongoing pursuit to find a lifesaving stem cell donor match for 12-year-old Khaleel from Telford.

For anyone interested in taking part in the event, it’s worth noting that the course is arguably Shropshire’s most scenic multi-terrain 10K, which is set in a rural village just outside Newport and is now in its 8th year. The course is mainly off road and with the kind permission of private landowners, it takes in woodland and tracks, passing several historic landmarks.

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 If you’re interested in joining our team of runners or would like to come down on the day to help us sign up donors to the stem cell register please email ben.westwood@racagainstbloodcancer.com

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Race Against Blood Cancer is taking on the Blackpool Marathon

Race Against Blood Cancer will be out in force at the Blackpool marathon and Blackpool 10 km run on the 23rd of April with a team of eight dedicated volunteers.

Dan Parry, Steve Morris, Nicholas O’Brian and Ian Millward will be participating in the marathon while Sarah Perry, Hannah Trinder, Gemma Elsmore and Sarah Elsmore will be taking part in the 10 km run.

Blackpool Marathon Team

The 26 mile run which heads along the Blackpool seafront also passes many tourist sites including the Golden Mile, St Annes and Lytham. The team are aiming to raise £2,000 with all the proceeds going to Race Against Blood Cancer.

This is the longest distances all of the runners have ever committed to and they are currently training hard in anticipation.

The Race Against Blood Cancer team is thankful their amazing commitment and sends them all their support in preparation for 23rd April.

If you would like to donate or join the team, please contact ben.westwood@raceagainstbloodcancer.com or donate at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rabcblackpoolmarathon

Start making a difference today!

Wristbands don't save lives. Signing up as a donor does.

Are you interested in saving lives? Join our Community Engagement Team

Race Against Blood Cancer is looking to add two part time employees to its Community Engagement Team to register lifesaving stem cell and bone marrow donors.

Successful applicants will be responsible for organising and leading their own donor drives at various locations where there are large crowds of people such as colleges, universities, sports clubs, places of work, music events etc., along with educating and signing up members of the public who are in attendance.

In the role the person will self-select where and when they want to do a donor drive, meaning there’s a lot of flexibility. The person will earn a day rate which will be dependent on how many donors they register on that day. Someone who has access to a car would be ideal given there will be travel involved.

If you’re interested please send your CV to lucy.baumgartner@raceagainstbloodcancer.com along with a 200 – 300 word description of why you believe you would be a good candidate for the role.

Some of the qualities we’re looking for include but aren’t limited to the following:

  • A passion for community or charity related projects
  • Comfortable engaging with members of the public
  • Good organisational skills
  • Proactive and considered a self-starter
  • Good oral and written communication skills

The first phase of the application process ends on Friday 24th March by which time you will need to have submitted your CV and reasons why you’d be suitable for the role. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to participate in a telephone and in-person interview.


The below video explains how someone becomes a potential donor. It’s worth noting that Race Against Blood Cancer and our Community Engagement team is only responsible for the registration process which involves filling out a short form and a cheek swab.


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Call for triathletes –  Race Against Blood Cancer is selected as an official charity at the AJ Bell London Triathlon

Race Against Blood Cancer will be well represented at this year’s London AJ Bell Triathlon, taking place once again at the London ExCel on the weekend of 22nd July.

Known to be the world’s largest triathlon attracting over 13,000 participants and 30,000 spectators, the AJ Bell Triathlon never disappoints. The event is quickly becoming a firm favourite in the team’s event calendar, with our debut in 2016 where we entered 18 triathletes and raised thousands of pounds in sponsorship.


The team will be looking to go one better this year and is aiming to field a team of over 40 participants, run a donor drive on the day and raise over £10,000 in valuable funds which will help our efforts to save lives.

The event offers many different formats and distances. From the full Olympic distance, to a Sprint or the Team relay where a team of 3 people take on one of each, the swim, ride or run! As an official charity we have a discounted price of £99 for all race formats.

  • Full Olympic: 1500m Swim | 40k Bike Ride | 10k Run
  • Sprint: 750m Swim | 20k Bike Ride | 5k Run
  • Team Relay: Either of the above distances is completed by a team of 3 people

Get in touch today and sign up! Contact ben.westwood@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

A little bit goes a long way. Save a life in 2017!

What can I do to help? You can help save a life in 1 of 4 ways - find out more
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