Despite being yet to receive your starter packs, you've wasted no time in responding to our requests and getting involved as Bloodwise Ambassadors, making a HUGE impact already. Here's a few examples of how y ou've already been getting involved and making a difference:
1. Your support at Impact Days
Last month 28 of you attended one of our regional Impact Day events and played a pivotal role in helping ensure that they were a success by talking to patients, pointing people towards our patient information and in one or two cases even recording a piece to camera!
It was also a great opportunity for you to meet some of your fellow Ambassadors and we got some really useful and supportive feedback. Wendy Leigh, who attended the London Impact Day, said:
"I found the Impact Day really interesting and got to meet and talk to some interesting people. I really found the presenters - particularly Emma Morris's talk on cellular pathology developments - fascinating! It was also great to meet Sissy and I found her story really interesting. I met a couple of other Ambassadors, too, which was good and Lisa and I are now linked on Facebook :)"
Special thanks to our patient speakers Derek, Sissy, Toby, Ellie and Anna who all talked openly about their blood cancer experiences as part of our presentations, helping to bring all the research, science and fundraising back to the impact on patients which is what everything is all about.
You can get a flavour of Impact Day by watching the London Impact Day video.
2. In the media
Thanks to you sharing your stories and experiences, we've been able to generate some really great media coverage which is fantastic for awareness both of the charity and blood cancer in general.
In March Kate Giles did a fantastic piece with the Daily Mail about issues surrounding her small lymphocytic leukaemia diagnosis which did really, really well. We were also able to share the article on our Facebook page which encouraged more patients to get in touch and talk about their own issues surrounding diagnosis:
With your support we were also able to acheive national TV and radio coverage in response to the promising T-cell therapy trials in the US, securing us slots on the BBC News at Ten, 5 News, BBC World Service and BBC 5 live, providig a crucial patient perspective that really helped demonstrate what a difference research can make.
Here's a clip of George Norton doing us all proud on the BBC News at Ten:
Read Henry's Media Ambassador blog to find out more about how you can help us raise awareness in the media.
3. Influencing policy makers
In February 10 Ambassadors were involved in a patient workshop with National Cancer Intelligence Network about the needs of patients when it comes to sharing data for research. This ensured that the views of blood cancer patients were strongly represented as they bid to develop a more robust system on managing and sharing paitent data which we hope improves patient outcomes and support further medical research.
You've also played an instrumental role in helping us in our bid to get government to reconsider their position on the Cancer Drugs Fund and provided a vital patient presence and angle during our roundtable discussion with Anthony Nolan and MPs centred around living with and beyond blood cancer.
One Ambassador, Paul Carless, has taken it one step further and is directtly approaching MPs and getting them to pledge their support for the charity. Lord Kinnock (pictured) was his latest recruit and we are now in dialogue with Lord Kinnock about ways that he can help to support us.
4. Making new partnerships
Erica Farmer helped us to launch a new partnership with Yoogaia, an online Yoga studio, who are making donations for for everyone who signs up to take part. Erica spoke at the launch event and even took part in one of the classes. Find out how she got in her latest blog.
Fellow Ambassador Mark Noblet also spoke brilliantly at an amployee fundraiser and murder mystery evening with Nestle - another of our corporate partners.
Last and by no means Anna Mamwell has helped us secure a brand new partnership with Hobo Soy Candles who have created a special Bloodwise soy candle which will see 10% of sales go directly towards supporting our efforts to fund further research and clinical trials.
Find out more about Anna's Bloodwise candle
5. Spreading the word online and in your local area
Many of you have been using your check-ups and hospital appointments to get our patient information out to patients. Charlotte Cox sent us this tweet of our leaflets sitting proudly in the waiting room of the cancer unit where she's being treated:
Many more of you have also written some fantastic blogs about your experiences with blood cancer which you have very kindly allowed us to share on our Facebook page. We really cannot over play just how much of a difference this makes as it provides inspiration and comfort to others going through treatment and also helps to generate discussion which allows us to talk to and help others.
Aileen Lamb's most recent update as she continues her recovery from AML is a perfect example, reaching more than 50,000 people on our Facebook page, resulting in more than 150 comments from other patients and their families.
If you haven't yet written a blog for us but would like to share your experiences as part of our patient community do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you an email with instructions on how to get started.