Andy Jackson
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2017 off to a flyer

Andy Jackson
Posted by
31 Jan 2015

Brilliant blogs, radio interviews, new Ambassadors and a brilliant first performance of the Girls musical - it's all been happening this month! Read on to find out more about the extraordinary impact you've made this month.

In short it's been a brilliant start to 2017 with so much to talk about that I don't think this blog will do it justice! Highlights for me include George Norton's fantastic Facebook Live session and, of course, the fantasic opening weekend of the Girls Musical.

However there's been so much more besides and this blog is a tribute to all your wondeful efforts this month:

1. The Girls musical

Saturday 28th January saw the long awaited opening performances of The Girls musical on the West End at the Phoenix Theatre. This included a special matinee performance for those close to Bloodwise - researchers, nurses, fundraisers and, of course, you our Ambassadors! 34 of you were there with your families to support the show and it was wonderful to catch up with so many of you.

A huge thank you to each and everyone of you who did come and help make it such a great first weekend - I know that in some cases that meant travelling a considerable distance. 

Special thanks must go to all those that helped out with the retiring collection especially Rich Castle and Paul Carless who stayed on to then help out with the collections and merchandise selling for the evening performance.

The Girls will be running up to the end of April on it's initial run so there's still plenty of opportunities for you to see it including a special evening Gala performance on Monday 20th February for which we have some complimentary tickets.

Read our Girls update blog for more information and to find out more about ways you can help us support The Girls Musical.

2. Fundraising, speeches & awards  

January was also another great month for fundraising. Anna Mamwell attended and spoke at a fundraising event which raised £500 at Lincoln University while proud Welshman Lawrence Trace went all the way to Bristol to pick up a cheque and represent us at a Burns Night Supper being held by a local fundraiser.

Helen Tait also held a very successful Quiz Night at her local golf club which raised more than £550 while Aileen Lamb also shared a fantastic link to the brilliant raffle she held before Christmas which you can read more about here.

A special mention must go to Mark Noblet who received an award at our Sports Awards for all his fundraising efforts last year which culminated in him cycling from London to Paris. Not bad for someone still recovering from a stem cell transplant!

All your fundraising efforts without any prompting by us have blown us away and have led to us coming up with a fundraising target of £250,000 for us to try and reach together this year. It sounds a lot but I'm confident that we'll reach it as together we're unstoppable!

Find out more about how you can get involved in my Ambassador Fundraising Challenge blog.

3. More press coverage  

While it's almost impossible to be able to read about anything other than the happenings in America at the moment you helped us secure some brilliant coverage this month. Melody Berthoud secured a fantastic follow up piece off the back of our Winter Campaign in the Daily Star while Donna Dunn got a lovely piece in the South Wales Argus after attending The Girls musical.

Last and by no means least, Katie Ruane managed to get a 10 minute slot on BBC Radio London in the build up to her 'cancerversary' where she managed to get a name drop and even encourage another blood cancer patient to call in. You can listen again here (Katie is on at 1hr 50): 

If you'd like to be considered for press work and haven't yet shared your story please contact Steph or Henry at

4. Sharing your blood cancer experiences

A huge thank you to Kat Tsang-Orr, Andy Roberts, Donna Dunn and Allison Barr who have all written blogs recently about their experiences which they've very kindly agreed for us to share on the Bloodwise Facebook page.

Sharing the experiences of patients is invaluable for us in so many ways not least in helping us to raise awareness of blood cancer among our supporters. However more importantly they provide support and comfort to other blood cancer patients who realise they are not alone and are emboldened to reach out to us for support and to share their own experiences.

The blogs also have a huge impact on those not directly affected by blood cancer. The best example of this is Sylvia Priest whose blog about her husband's experiences with ALL prompted a colleague to sign up for the bone marrow register:


If you'd like to get involved but have yet to get round to writing a blog do send me an email at and I'll be in touch with more details on how to get started.

5. George Norton's Facebook Live

On Thursday 19th January George joined us for our latest Facebook Live to talk all about his experiences with ALL. George spoke for over an hour - our longest to-date - and the interview reached almost 250,000 people. Well worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet - you can watch again here.

A huge thank you to George for agreeing to help out at relatively short notice and for speaking so openly about all aspects of his blood cancer no matter how tough some of the questions that came in from people were! We got some outstanding engagement and are amazed at just how popular the Facebook Lives are.

Provided we can sort out dates Wendy Leigh & Rich Castle are happy to do February and March's Q&A but we're always on the look out for more Ambassadors to volunteer for these.

If you'd like to register your interest in helping out with a Facebook Live session a go do email me at and we can look to try and get something sorted.

6. Spreading awareness and building relationships

A huge thank you to each and everyone of you for continuing to spread the word about blood cancer and the support and information that we offer by putting up posters and handing out leaflets and patient information booklets.

Special thanks must go to Rich Castle who put up posters and established a really promising contact at the South East Cancer Help Centre who we're hoping we can do lots more with going forwards and were previously completely unaware of. This is exactly the sort of thing that you can help us with in our bid to reach out to more people. Keep up the good work!

To order more posers or patient info or to find out more about how to get involved in raiseing awareness in your local area please email Alice at

Other news

This month saw us launch two new fantastic fact sheets on treatment decisions and what to expect from appointments which wouldn't have been possible without your help. We now move on to working on more fact sheets which you can find out more about in Esther's blog.

January was also a significant month for Katie Ruane who celebrated her 'cancerversary' marking 10 years since her diagnosis with CML with a drinks reception in town. It was great to be able to be there to celebrate with her. Congratulations, too, to Helen Tait who had another successful hospital check-up and Dan Holloway who was reflecting upon the incredible progress he's made in the four years since his diagnosis with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  

Last and by no means least I'd like to welcome our latest Ambassador recruits Nadia, Susie, Emma, Jamie and Andee who I'm sure will introduce themselves in the Ambassador Facebook group in due course.