September seems to have hurtled by and we're already moving towards the end of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, which means it's time for a look back at all the ways we've been working to raise awareness this month. Throughout the month we have focused on awareness and how, despite the fact that blood cancer is the 5th most common cancer, awareness has always been low. Armed with an array of compelling and surprising facts we've kept blood cancer at the centre of the conversation from our social media channels to Westminster. Read on to find out more about what Bloodwise have been up to this Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
We've been very busy on social media all month, sharing daily facts and patient stories on Twitter and Facebook. There has been an astonishing response from patients and people affected by blood cancer and the comments we've received have been both moving and inspiring in turn. We have also been experimenting with video and persuaded Dr Matt Kaiser, Bloodwise's Head of Research, to get behind the camera to film short clips talking about different aspects of blood cancer.
One post from earlier in the month reminded our supporters that there are 137 different kinds of blood cancer and we're trying to beat them all. This post reached 107,124 people, was liked by 763, shared by another 841 and received 48 comments. A huge number of these comments were from patients who shared their diagnosis with rare types of blood cancer that they'd never heard of before. The reaction to posts such as this one really show us how important it is to raise awareness and continuing working to beat blood cancer. You can read the comments to this post here.
Facebook Live Q&A
We held our first ever Facebook Live Q&A this month with CML patient and Bloodwise Ambassador, Katie Ruane. Though a slightly daunting task for interviewer and interviewee, the response was phenomenal and we ended up holding a second live Q&A with Brett Grist, an AML patient in remission post-SCT. The interactive element of these Q&As is fantastic and it really feels like patients and their families are getting that extra level of support from people who've been through the experience. We hope to continue holding these live talks beyond September and would love to get researchers, nurses and consultants involved too - if this is something you would be interested in getting involved with please do let us know!
The Calendar Girls
Last Friday it was announced that Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new musical, The Girls, based on the story of the Calendar Girls is on its way to London's West End following a hugely successful run in Leeds and Manchester. The Girls will open on 28th January 2017 at the Phoenix Theatre and £2 from every ticket sold through this link in September will be donated to Bloodwise. Tickets for the first night are already sold out and it's set to be a very popular show!
On Wednesday 14th September we donned our finery ready for our reception at the Speaker's House in Parliament. The aim of this event was to raise awareness of blood cancer and the impact it can have on patients. We focused on the main facts around blood cancer, namely that it is the 3rd biggest cancer killer and the 5th most common. We also launched our Patient Ambassador programme and many of the ambassadors were in attendence, including Paul Carless whose speech left very few dry eyes in the room. It was a fantastic and inspiring evening and we are grateful for all of the supporters, MPs, consultants, ambassadors and members of our Nursing Advisory Panel who joined us.
If you'd be interested in hearing more about Bloodwise events or getting involved in the future, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How has Blood Cancer Awareness Month been for you? We would love to hear from you! If you've got anything to share, have any feedback on how we've raised awareness this month, or have any questions about anything we do, please do get in touch on email@example.com.