Home  |  News  |  News & updates
News & updates
All the latest news, updates, blogs & events from Race Against Blood Cancer

Category Archives: News & updates

Stuart Freeman Donation Interview Thumnail

Donor Match Stuart Freeman tells us about his stem cell donation experience

Earlier this year we were thrilled to hear that one of our donor sign ups in 2017, Stuart Freeman, had been matched with a patient in need.  In July this year we were pleased to accompany Stuart on his visit to the London Clinic where he harvested his stem cells for the first time and was able to donate these cells to give his recipient a second chance at life.

We interviewed Stuart after his donation to give us some insight into his experience of being a stem cell donor and potential life saver.

How and why did you originally register as a potential blood stem cell/bone marrow donor?

I was with my brother at the Lilleshall 10k running event last year where Race Against Blood Cancer were holding a donor drive.  I knew of someone who had blood cancer but I knew nothing about the stem cell or bone marrow donors or how they are used to help blood cancer patients.   However, when I was shown how easy the sign up process was I went ahead and registered.

How did you find out you were a match for someone and how did you feel?

DKMS called to tell me I was a match for a patient in need – I obviously wanted to do it but like most people I did feel a little nervous as I hadn’t really researched the actual donation process beforehand, and didn’t know if there may be any long term side effects. Once I spent a bit of time researching the process I felt more at ease.  Knowing that I may have a few short term side effects didn’t bother me as I knew I could be saving a life.

Did you get to choose the method of donation? 

Yes I did – Initially they asked for bone marrow, which I was happy to donate but after reviewing the recipient’s needs the patient team were more than happy to take my stem cells instead.

How did DKMS prepare you for the donation (appointments/medical injections etc?)

I had a medical a few weeks before which I attended at the London Clinic and then 4 lots of 4 injections, four days before the actual donation.  The medical team also came out to me to do the injections – I was originally meant to be paintballing and so they were even prepared to come out to the venue, but it got cancelled so they came to me at home whilst I was watching the England World Cup game instead!

Where did you go to harvest your cells and how long did the process take?

I went to the London Clinic for my procedure – it took around 3hrs 50 minutes to collect the stem cells and I had to wait for around 30 minutes afterwards for them to check I had donated enough cells.  They needed 5 million but managed to collect 23 million in that short time.  I was told they would use what they needed and freeze the rest for anyone else who may need them.

Is it painful and did you experience any side effects?

I didn’t experience any pain as such; I just had the usual side effects that I’d prepared myself for, so I was slightly achy in the lower back and feeling a little groggy after the injections.  The medical team told me I would feel better after the stem cell collection and they were right.  The following day I was feeling 100% again!

Did you incur any costs?

DKMS covered my travel and hotel stay as I lived quite far from the clinic.  I was also given the opportunity to use an optional food and drink voucher but I used my own money.

How did you feel mentally and physically after the donation procedure was over?

I actually felt really good physically almost straight away; any side effects you have are not serious and are only short term.  I felt so positive that I had the opportunity to save a life and be able to raise awareness of being a donor and what the process involves – the worst part was being on camera!

How do you think we can encourage other people like you to register?

It’s really important to me to get across how easy it is to register and to donate.  Just a few hours of my time could have potentially saved a life and that makes me feel great.  For me it’s all about the awareness, if I can help inform people that life saving like this exists and show how simple the process is, then I know people would register in a heartbeat!

We would like to say a massive thank you to Stuart – the impact that he is going to have on his recipient life can’t be put into words. We would also like to thank you to DKMS, the medical team and the amazing staff on the day at The London Clinic.

Stuart and Alex Morison   Stuart Donation   Stuart Donating Stem Cells


Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer is Hiring!

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Race against Blood Cancer team – We are looking for a motivated and experienced leader to navigate the charity through its next stage of growth in the role of General Manager.

As a charity we have a lofty ambition – that’s to give all blood cancer patients an equal chance of finding a lifesaving stem cell donor match. By joining the team, you will be working with a group of talented professionals, who are united in their pursuit to save lives, using their collective corporate, entrepreneurial, non-profit and digital marketing expertise.

This role will be home-based  and will report to the Board of Trustees. The successful candidate will be a self-starter, who is capable of getting the most out of the charities resources and can come up with a plan for Race Against Blood Cancer to achieve its key objectives, while ensuring sustainable growth.

Some of the key attributes we’re looking for include the following:

  • Charity related experience, or as a minimum a passion for charitable causes
  • Ability to create a strategic growth plan and deliver on agreed upon targets
  • Equally comfortable working on your own as well as in a team
  • Strong management and motivational skills
  • Strong organisational and communication (written & oral) skills
  • Fundraising experience
  • Self-starter attitude

To find out more information and to apply for this post please email ben@hoxtoncircle.com


Race Against Blood Cancer

Introducing our Community Engagement Officer Gemma Elsmore

Gemma, who’s been supporting Race Against Blood Cancer for a little over a year took some time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed by Emma Brown, our Social Media manager about how she first came in contact with the charity

“I first became a volunteer for Race Against Blood Cancer in March 2017, after learning that a friend’s son was in need of a blood stem cell transplant. This emotionally touched my heart and I wanted to offer my support in a way that I could try and really make a difference. I held my first donor drive in aid of the Match4Khaleel campaign, which was a huge success. We were able to sign up 57 potential donors to the stem cell register within 2 hours. This inspired me to want to help others who are in a similar position to Khaleel.

In May 2017 a job was advertised for a Community Engagement Officer in the West Midlands and I knew that this was something that I would love to do, so I applied for the position. I was delighted when I was offered the job at Race Against Blood Cancer because this meant that I could put my all into raising awareness of blood cancer and signing people up.

Over the past 10 months myself and my team of volunteers have signed up over 660 potential blood stem cell donors. I would really love for us to reach a target of 1000 by the end of August 2018 and to continue to encourage people from all different ethnic backgrounds to sign up because you never know when it could affect somebody you love.”

Gemma Elsmore – Community Engagement Officer.

Gemma Elsmore - Community Engagement Officer at Race Against Blood Cancer
Gemma Elsmore – Community Engagement Officer at Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer

Many potential lifesaving donors signed up at Google offices

Nearly 200 potential lifesaving donors signed up in just two donor drives at Google offices

Last week the Race Against Blood Cancer team popped into the Google offices in London to do another donor drive. After last year’s visit where we signed up over 100 donors, we were kindly invited back to capture any employees who may have been away. It was snowing and cold outside but the feeling inside was far from it as we managed to sign up an additional 65 potential lifesaving donors!

A massive thank you to Sam Smith who organised the event and all of those at Google who took the time to register. We would also like to show our appreciation to our community engagement manager Alex Morrison and volunteer Alex Kiffin who once again were on hand to sign up willing participants!

Alex and some new volunteer donors at Google
Alex Kiffin and some new volunteer donors at Google

Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer returns to the popular Shropshire Kids Festival

Last Saturday the Race Against Blood Cancer team hosted another donor drive at the popular event Shropshire Kids Festival 2018 at the Telford International Centre.

The event was full of busy families getting involved in all of the activities on offer, and the team still managed to sign up an impressive 57 blood stem cell donors amongst the madness! We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who visited the stand and took an interest in the charity, and a special thanks to those who registered!

New volunteers signing up as a stem cell donor
New volunteers signing up as a stem cell donors at the festival in Shropshire

We’d also like to show our appreciation to the organisers Shropshire Festivals and our amazing team Gemma Elsmore, Sarah Elsmore, Beth Elsmore and Jodie Thompson for spending all day on their feet, encouraging the crowd and signing up new potential donors who could help save the life of someone with blood cancer!

If you would like help with organising a donor drive in your place of work, please contact our community engagement team:

Gemma.elsmore@raceagainstbloodcancer.com Alex.morrison@raceagainstbloodcancer.com


NCS Thumbnail

NCS partnership goes from strength to strength

Since the summer of 2016, Race Against Blood Cancer has been partnering with APM who deliver the NCS – National Citizen Service for young people across the West Midlands.

The project has inspired over 900 young people by educating them about blood cancer and raising awareness about the importance of encouraging people to sign up to the blood stem cell donor register.

The young hopefuls have organised 30 donor drives so far and have raised over £2,500 for the charity. Race Against Blood Cancer hopes to continue the work this summer and inspire more young people to support this worthy cause.

Click the link below to read the full story here in the APM newsletter.

https://indd.adobe.com/view/0e6c89cd-3c3f-4baf-ae10-f0c8f9897b8e


twitter-logo

MPs call for more blood cancer testing by GPs

Sky news released an article today highlighting that MPs are calling for more blood cancer testing by GPs.

As the articles describes, the early diagnosis of blood cancer is vital. For the full story click:

https://news.sky.com/story/mps-call-for-more-blood-cancer-testing-by-gps-11210754

With only 1/5 ethnic minorities finding a suitable donor match, finding more live saving bone marrow and stem cell donors is also a top priority. To join the donor register visit:

http://www.raceagainstbloodcancer.com/join


Thumbnail Madeley Cricket Club

Andrew Lloyd organises Madeley Cricket Club F.C. reunion

Race Against Blood Cancer would like to thank Andrew Lloyd for organising the charity football reunion on Friday 29th December for Madeley Cricket Club FC.

Many of those who do so much for the charity had all played together for numerous years and it was great for them to get back together after nearly 10 years since they stopped playing.

Madeley Cricket Club F.C. reunion
Madeley Cricket Club F.C. 10 year reunion photo

Just like the old days it was back to the Cricket Club after the footy for food and several beers! We would like to say a special thank you to Madeley Cricket Club for their kind donation, and also massive thank you to Amber Davies for cooking food for 28 starving men!

The event which was a great success with over £300 raised for the charity, and plans now underway to organise the next one!


Thumbnail

Race Against Blood Cancer finds 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


New York Marathon Thumbnail

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

NYC2 NYC4 IMG_4300 IMG_4297 NYC1 IMG_4331


What can I do to help? You can help save a life in 1 of 4 ways - find out more
#
Donor register
It takes just a few minutes to sign up & help fight blood cancer
#
Get involved
With campaigns & fundraising events that help save lives
#
Donate funds
Please make a donation so we can get the message out there
#
Raise awareness
Help us show how big the problem is & how easy the solution