“We are here to change the world”
One of our principles at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is “We are here to change the world”. Our president, Sir Ian Botham, spoke with conviction last night, about how he plans to change the world for 5 charities with “Beefy’s Charitable Foundation”.
At a rooftop reception, on a balmy summer’s evening, Sir Ian Botham spoke about his plans to support 5 charities and change people’s lives with his new Foundation. In front of an audience which included Sir Jeffrey Archer, who only recently spoke about his own diagnosis of prostate cancer and some of the world’s cricketing legends including Allan Lamb, Sunil Gavaskar, Souruv Ganguly and Wasim Akram ; each charity had the opportunity to speak about their partnership with the Foundation.
I spoke briefly about the huge difference in survival for the most common form of childhood leukaemia since Sir Ian began fundraising in 1985. The Foundation will continue to support the clinical trial for children that has enabled truly personalised treatment for each child.
Saving adult lives requires much more work and is a much more complex problem. Sir Ian has also committed to helping us save more lives by supporting our Trials Acceleration Programme, which is enabling more blood cancer patients to have more access to clinical trials than ever before.
Moving speeches were made by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation who are trying to cure Type 1 diabetes, an illness that has affected Ian’s daughter Becky’s life for many years; the Chairman of a Batten Disease charity; CRY which deals with cardiac risk in the young; and BTRS which does brain tumour research in Yorkshire.
We were then treated to a Q and A led by Allan Lamb, with the cricketing legends, all sharing tales from on and off the pitch, and discussing some of the current issues in cricket including the controversial umpire decision review system.
I found it very touching the way Beefy’s charitable work was referred to as his “second innings” and Wasim Akram was encouraging Sourav Ganguly to emulate Beefy’s example in India.
A lovely evening thanks to the generous support of Beefy’s friend and lawyer, Naynesh Desai. The next Foundation event is a Golf Day at Brocket Hall, where our own Director of Fundraising, Mark Wilson, will be demonstrating the true meaning of the word handicap in golf, best of luck to his team mates!