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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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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.

Khaleel Khan
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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Celebrating a year’s milestones with our Annual Golf Tournament & Gala Dinner

Friday 23rd September marked the 2nd annual Race Against Blood Cancer Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner, which was again hosted at the Shropshire Golf Centre.

Celebrating the amazing milestones achieved over the last year, the day started off in the sun with 16 golf teams competing. The tournament even saw football stars Stephen Hunt, former Reading and Republic of Ireland midfielder and Peter Odemwingie, former West Bromwich and Nigeria forward, participate in the event. Once the final scores were counted, it was Lee Sandell and his team who was awarded the trophy despite a close score.

A team on the golf course for Race Against Blood Cancer Student talking about his summer supporting Race Against Blood Cancer

Three golf players assessing their game Two supporters at our 2nd Annual Gala Dinner

Girl smiling during Race Against Blood Cancer presentation Golf players at our Annual Charity Golf Tournament

 As sun started to set, the 160 Gala Dinner attendees were guided to the evening venue, beautifully decorated in white and red. Joining the celebrations were 6 nominated students from the National Citizen Service programme. After attending a workshop that the charity carried out, the students dedicated their summers to raising awareness for the charity and £450 in funds. As one of the highlight speakers of the night they left the stage to a huge round of applause.

Fundraising for the evening is still in progress with some prizes being auctioned on eBay. Items include a shirt worn by Joe Hart and signed by the whole England squad from the recent world cup qualifier against Slovakia, Sam Allardyce’s one and only match as England manager. Other prizes comprise of a framed pair of signed Joe Hart gloves and Phil Jones’ Community Shield shirt signed by the Manchester United squad including superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Race Against Blood Cancer’s 2016 Annual Golf Tournament and Gala dinner was a great success and we would like to give massive thank you to Matthew Lea Golf Academy for organising the Golf event, The Shropshire Golf Centre for hosting, our friends, family and supporters who joined us and finally, Skratch AV for providing their exemplary service and providing a world class multimedia solution.


DJ Sam Smith supporting the race against blood cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer marks its 1st year in style

Saturday 6th August will go down in Race Against Blood Cancer history, as we marked our first year anniversary in style with a day and night to remember.

If someone had said we would have done over 40 donor drives and signed up over 2100 people onto the donor register a year prior, we wouldn’t have believed it.

One full year has passed since a group of young people came together and showed the amazing things that could happen when you unite cultures, passions, ideas and plain old positive work! A number of key partnerships with other charities, businesses and celebrities were formed in these twelve months and will make the next 12 months even more exciting.

To mark the occasion, the team entered 18 triathletes into the AJ Bell London triathlon, raising over £6400 in the process and, wanting to do things differently to most other charities, we put on a party headlined by UK Garage legends Norris Da Boss Windross & MC Creed.

Held at Vice’s newest venue, Kamio – Red Gallery the night was full of anticipation. Not without its challenges, with both Old Street and Shoreditch High street stations closed for the weekend and the Shoreditch area much quieter than normal, we were not deterred.

Upon entry we set up a ping pong table, adult Jenga, photo booth area and offered a free drink, courtesy of our sponsor – Pistonhead Lager, to get the crowd going.

The night kicked off with great live performances from Jacob Makes Music and the excellent Chase Emery Davies. Stepping onto the decks we then had Sam Smith, DJ Rogue, DJ Longers, Kruel Intentions and a headline set by Norris Da Boss Windross and MC Creed with a live PA from Rose Windross. The night finally ended with Mister L to wind things up at the end of the night.

The event was definitely a diverse and eclectic mix of personalities and cultures. We marked the year off with a fitting event that celebrated the charity and we look forward to another great year of success.

We would like to send a massive thank you to

Kamio/ Vice
Bounce
Pistonhead
Jacob Makes Music
Chase Emery Davies
Megan Impey
The Famous Company
Sam Smith
DJ Rogue
DJ Longers
Kruel Intentions
Norris Da Boss Windross
MC Creed
Rose Windross
Mister L
Ontrax TV

and a massive thank you to Tinkphotography for all of their hard work on the night.

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Norris Da Boss Windross & MC Creed lead the party line up

The final line up for Race Against Blood Cancer’s 1st Anniversary party was confirmed on the weekend. 

With performances ranging from amazing house, UK Garage and Hip Hop DJs as well as live singers, the 6th August promises to be unforgettable, with Norris Da Boss Windross & MC Creed as the main headline at Kamio, Red Gallery, Shoreditch.

Tickets are selling out fast. If you haven’t already, do so now for just £10 https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/thefutureisnow

Buy your tickets and get read for a crazy night filled with positive energy and great people.

We look forward to seeing you there!

THE FUTURE IS NOW Line Up 2


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We are 1! Join the celebration on 6th August in Shoreditch

A year has passed since we became an official charity. And what a year it has been with so many smiles, stories and achievements. And we would love to celebrate with you.

On 6th August, we will be celebrating our first anniversary at Red Gallery in Shoreditch. It promises to be an amazing night with loads of great acts, amazing people and cool vibes.

With a diverse night of entertainment ranging from live music featuring rock, pop and soul, great acts like Norris ‘Da Boss’ Windross & MC Creed and some of London’s best funky house, RnB, hip-hop and UK garage DJs we’re expecting a sell-out.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale and going quickly so make sure you get your ticket soon https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/thefutureisnow and come and enjoy an amazing night full of surprises.

We will also be giving all of those of you who have not yet signed up as a donor the opportunity to do so as we continue to look for a match for Tommy.

We look forward to seeing you and all your friends and family there for an unforgettable celebration!

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