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Help Christmas Wishes Come True

Today, five people will begin their search for a stem cell donor, could you buy them a second chance at life this Christmas?

In 2020, we aim to launch a pilot project in the West Midlands to recruit 11,000 new donors – especially those from minority groups – to the stem cell and bone marrow register.
We need your help to make this happen.

The Trustees at the Roger Counter Foundation have generously agreed to match the first £15,000 of donations to the project so any gift you make is doubled.

Please, help Christmas wishes come true.

A number of our supporters have kindly agreed to share their own stories in the hope you feel able to support this year’s appeal:

Khaleel with his sisters and brother
We worked with Kelly and her family to find Khaleel (left) a donor

The Patient’s Story
Kelly explains how important our community work is to families that are seeking a stem cell donor:
“We became involved with Race Against Blood Cancer through a member of the team when my son, Khaleel, relapsed with leukaemia. He needed an urgent stem cell transplant and the charity ran donor drives all over to try to get more people to sign up to the register and find him a match.
The charity makes a huge difference in the community, pretty much everyone locally now knows how important becoming a donor is. People always make a point of telling me how they’ve signed up at one of the donor drives as soon as they realise Khaleel’s my son. It makes me proud to know that he helped the charity to spread the word of the importance of being on the stem cell register.
Sadly Khaleel passed away after his transplant but we continue to work with Race Against Blood Cancer; every year the charity holds a fun day ‘Remembering Khaleel’ it’s always a great turn out and they sign up more new donors to help other patients seeking a match’.

James Burton
James donated his stem cells to give a patient in Australia a second chance at life

The Donor’s Story
James explains why he’s supporting our appeal for funding this Christmas:
‘Friends of mine started the charity when one of our group was diagnosed with blood cancer, so I jumped at the chance to join the register. A couple of years passed and I was told I was a match for a patient in Australia; I went on to donate my stem cells shortly after.
To me, the work that the charity does is so important, in an ideal world there would be a presence in every community. Having a Community Engagement Manager in the West Midlands will mean an increase in the number of registered donors, resulting in more people across the world being offered the chance of life-saving treatment.”

Bex (right) became involved with the charity after donating stem cells for her sister Natalie (shown)
Bex (right) became involved with the charity after donating stem cells for her sister Natalie (shown)

The Volunteer’s Story
Our volunteer – and stem cell donor – Bex, is urging you to make a donation to support our work:
“My sister was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2016. Following her first bone marrow transplant, we became involved with Race Against Blood Cancer and have supported the team since.
Being visible on a local level not only increases support but helps to raise awareness of the charity’s message and ethos. It is essential that we get more people on the donor register – things could have been so different for my sister. Everyone diagnosed with a blood disorder should have an equal chance of survival.”

Two of our latest donors
Our new donors are registered through DKMS

The Partner’s Story
Our registry partner DKMS explains the impact of having a local presence, and with this much achieved at ad-hoc events, imagine what we could achieve with a full-time Community Engagement Manager:
“From the very beginning, the West Midlands Race Against Blood Cancer representatives have been fundamental in driving the recruitment of donors to the stem cell register, with the volunteer team holding more than 70 events.
The fact that there is a local presence offering awareness, education and support, provides those affected and their families with the knowledge that their community are able to help and want to support them at such a time. This is an enormous boost and cannot be underestimated. The reassurance that such an important message and service is being facilitated by another organisation dedicated to trying to offer patients a second chance at life is a fact that we at DKMS value greatly.”


Guests enjoying a previous dinner event

Wolves legend – Carl Ikeme – is playing his part for our charity dinner event

We are delighted to announce that Wolves legend, Carl Ikeme, is supporting our ‘Be The One’ fundraising dinner taking place this Autumn.

Being held on Friday 6th September at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton and hosted by Lynsey Hooper of Sky Sports fame, the event promises to be a must for our supporters – as well as any Wolves fan.

As well as hearing Carl speak about his work with the charity, for just £40 guests can enjoy entertainment, a three course meal and an auction of money-can’t-buy items, as well as raising valuable funds for the charity’s work.

As Carl says ‘Race Against Blood Cancer might be small, but it has huge ambition.  After my own diagnosis with leukaemia back in 2017, I discovered that my treatment options would be limited due to the lack of ethnic diversity on the stem cell register.  The charity is trying to change all that; I’ve been involved with the team for more than a year now and I’m delighted that they’ve asked me to support this event to raise funds and awareness for their continuing work”.

We are also delighted to announce that Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton South West, will be presenting our inaugural supporter awards at the event, where individuals and companies will be celebrated for their incredible efforts on the charity’s behalf.

All the money raised from the dinner event will help us to continue our work to raise awareness of stem cell donation and to increase the numbers and ethnic diversity of potential donors on the stem cell register.

If you are interested in buying tickets for the event, please visit our ticketing website here.  However, if you’d like further information about the event or would like to know more about the sponsorship opportunities available then please contact Julie on julie.child@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

 

Carl Ikeme (centre) with some of the Race Against Blood Cancer team
Carl Ikeme (centre) with some of the Race Against Blood Cancer team
Guests at the last charity fundraising dinner
Guests at the last charity fundraising dinner

Record two day donor drive

Record London donor drive

This week saw the team do their first donor drive with Starcom, who are based in the BBC Televison centre in White City London.

The team set up for two days due to the number of occupants in the building and it was well worth it. There was a steady flow of people over the course of the event and everyone there was helpful and friendly.

In the end they managed to sign up a whopping 266 people!!!!! This is an incredible number and couldnt have been acheived without all the help we received. A massive thank you to Amy Kean and Lorena Di Lello for organising the event, Jayde Jarret, Ellis Parsons, Sarah Robson, Neville, Darren and Alex for helping out over the course of the two days. A special thank you to Emily Carroll from Homeslice for providing us with food over the two days and everyone who came down to sign up and continues to raise awareness.

Two of the Starcom team
Two of the Starcom team that signed up at the event

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

Blood cancer sufferer Dennis loses his battle against acute myeloid leukaemia

It is with tremendous sadness that our partners DKMS announced the passing of Dennis; a loving husband, father and a courageous fighter of blood cancer.

Since his diagnosis in January, Dennis, his family and our partners fought incredibly hard against a resistant form of acute myeloid leukaemia but sadly the battle was lost last week as a blood stem cell match was not found for him in time.

All of us at Race Against Blood Cancer send our deepest condolences to Dennis’ family and friends as this difficult time – hearing news like this really does bring home the importance of the work we’re doing to try to increase the volume and diversity of the register so EVERY patient has an equal chance of finding a donor.

Dennis


Race Against Blood Cancer

Croud’s latest fundraising efforts sees them cycle from London to Amsterdam in under 36 hours!

Back in June we shared via our Facebook page that global digital marketing agency Croud were embarking upon a HUGE challenge to raise money for Race Against Blood Cancer.

On 15th – 17th June their team of eight cyclists raced from London to Amsterdam and reached the finish line within their target finish time of under 36 hours! Wow!

We are pleased to share that the team raised over £7,400 for the charity – So many lives will be effected in a positive way with these funds, which will be used to help us register more lifesaving blood stem cell and bone marrow donors.

We would like to say a massive thank you to the team for their time and dedication – we massively appreciate Croud’s ongoing support for Race Against Blood Cancer and their willingness to help such an important cause.

2nd Batch_Photo 7

If you would like to take part in a sporting event to help raise vital funds for our charity, then please get in touch with Emma – emma.brown@raceagainstbloodcancer.com


Insteps Academy Annual Show

Insteps Dance Academy and Fullout Dance Academy hold annual show

Over the weekend Insteps Dance Academy and Fullout Dance Academy, based in Ludlow and Leominster, hosted their annual dance show. They performed 4 shows over 2 days to over 600 people.

Once again, this year they chose Race Against Blood Cancer as their charitable partner and held a raffle to raise much needed funds. Not only was the weekend a great success for the academies but they also managed to raise £354 for our charity.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved – these funds will help us to continue to raise awareness and register more potential lifesaving blood stem cell donors!

Insteps Dance Academy


Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer finds another donor match!!!

After all of the excitement over the England World Cup match yesterday, the team at Race Against Blood Cancer is even more excited to share our match news with you. One of our donor sign ups has been called to donate to a patient in need of a lifesaving transplant!

Meet Stuart Freeman, the guy who registered with us as a donor a few years ago and has now been called up to become a potential life saver. You can see from these photographs that the fantastic medical staff have been coming out to prepare him for his procedure – even whilst he was at work and sat watching the footy! ? ⚽️

2nd Batch_Photo 5A

Stuarts procedure will take place this Monday 9th July – watch out for live updates across our Facebook and Twitter channels to hear from the team and Stuart about his donation journey.

We wish Stuart the best of luck tomorrow and hope the process runs smoothly for him. We are also thinking about that special person who is about to receive this priceless gift – the impact Stuart will be having on this patients’ life is impossible to put into words! THANK YOU!

If you would like to become a real life superhero like Stuart, you can register here: www.raceagainstbloodcancer.com/join


Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer supports Flagz Mas Band

Last Sunday Race Against Blood Cancer held a donor drive supporting Flagz Mas Band at Wandsworth Arts Fringe in London, where the team worked hard to sign up more potential lifesaving donors to the blood stem cell register.

We would like to thank all those that showed up to register and to the organisers for allowing us to pitch up and engage with the community. We would also like to give a special thanks to the work of our team members Alex Morrison and Lenah Lang who continue to help those people needing lifesaving transplants.

RABC at Flagz Mas Band


Race Against Blood Cancer

The inspirational Joe Thompson

From a second blood cancer diagnosis to scoring the winning goal for Rochdale AFC – introducing the inspirational Joe Thompson

Fantastic interview where Joe Thompson discusses his winning goal for Rochdale AFC which saved his club from relegation. This was just a few months after returning to his club after a grueling period of treatment following his second blood cancer diagnosis.

Joe Thompson is a massive inspiration to many people currently battling with the disease and has now been nominated for a prestigious global award for his sporting efforts. You’ve definitely got our vote Joe! ?

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2018-05-08/rochdale-hero-helped-save-his-club-from-relegation-after-cancer-battle


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