Laura Pickering
Posted by
Laura Pickering

Changing the world a mile at a time

Laura Pickering
Posted by
Laura Pickering
28 Apr 2015

Richard Tuckett raised £6,500 by completing the 100 mile route at Birmingham Bikeathon in 2014.

I was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia over 20 years ago. Two courses of chemotherapy and a few wobbles later, at 61 I’m still pretty fit!

I signed up to do Birmingham Bikeathon as a ‘21 years post-remission’ present to myself. It was my first big fundraising attempt, and I was overwhelmed by the response – 200 donations, from £1 to £500. I loved doing the event – the carnival atmosphere at the start and end was really special.

Blood cancer has been a significant part of my life – my mother died quite young from chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), and several of my close family and friends have been affected by the disease. Many of them have come through it – but sadly a few have not.

If I’d been diagnosed 30 years ago, I’d have had my spleen removed and been on antibiotics for life. After a career in academic research, I know how painstaking and expensive research can be. But thanks to work done by this charity, I can see that we’re getting there – I think there’ll be a huge difference in how we see blood cancer in the next fifty years.

I’ve already signed up for Birmingham Bikeathon in 2015, and would love to do the London | Paris cycle one day! And I support the charity in other ways, by giving a monthly donation and making a gift in my Will – anything I can do will help beat blood cancer.


Dan Clarkson and his 22-strong team completed Blenheim Palace Triathlon last year, raising an incredible £100,000.

I started Scarlett’s dragons in 2014 after my daughter Scarlett was diagnosed with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (all) in January 2011, aged just six years old.

Unfortunately her initial chemotherapy treatment was unsuccessful and she relapsed, needing further chemotherapy, steroids and radiotherapy. Throughout December 2013 she barely came home from hospital at all, just managing Christmas day at home before having to be rushed back at 9pm with a treatment-related infection.

Having a child with cancer has a devastating impact, both for the child and their family. Scarlett’s nine now, and she’s been having cancer treatment for almost a third of her life. And she’ll have to continue treatment for another two years, making a total of five long years of chemotherapy.

We set our sights high with our fundraising. I’m so proud of what the team has achieved – I want to reach a day when no other family has to go through the pain of having their child diagnosed with leukaemia.


Emma Hakwins ran the Virgin Money Giving London Marathon in 2014 in memory of her brother Darren.

Darren was 11 days away from his 18th birthday when we lost him to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in March 2004. He’d only been diagnosed 12 days before he died.

2014 marked ten years since he was last with us, and I wanted to raise money in his memory. Darren loved sport, so it felt right to take on the London Marathon.

I set my fundraising goal at £1,500, but as soon as I told people why I was running the donations kept coming in. I was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I received from friends, family and even complete strangers. It felt like everyone we knew wanted to help beat this disease – my mum raised £600 at a ‘coffee and cake’ evening, and a quiz night held by my mum’s work was a huge success.

Before I started training for the London Marathon I hadn’t run more than five miles, so this was a massive challenge for me. But I completed it in just under five hours, with friends and family cheering me on from the sidelines.

This was a very personal experience for my family – and it was my tribute to my big brother.


Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, swimmer or walker, we have an event for you. And you’ll know that your efforts are changing the lives of people affected by blood cancer. Visit our website to find your challenge.




You can read 'Together We Can', our 2015 supporter newsletter, here.

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