In October we hosted Connect Midlands at the University of Birmingham, a fitting place to host such an event, as it is a Centre of Excellence for our research. We were so pleased that so many of our dedicated supporters and volunteers were able to attend this event. We had a real mix of supporters that included many of our Midlands Branches and Fundraising Groups, individuals and some of our corporate supporters, alongside some new faces. It was lovely to see so many of our supporters chatting, exchanging ideas and stories over lunch and I know that many new friendships were made at the event.
We were able to share the progress Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research has been able to make since we began in 1960, thanks to our fantastic supporters and dedicated researchers. We were pleased to welcome Nicola Fenwick from the Children’s Cancer Trials Team in Birmingham. Nicola is team manager for the Therapy Acceleration Programme (Haematology) at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit and spoke to the audience about childhood leukaemia and how the Therapy Acceleration Programme has helped to develop and improve treatment in recent years for children and young people with blood cancer. It was interesting to learn about the different treatments available and the potential advances in treatment in the future.
We finally heard from Kerry Harvey-Noble, mum of Nancy, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in November 2012 at the age of 4. Nancy is currently undergoing treatment at Birmingham Children's Hospital and Kerry spoke about their family journey and experience of dealing with blood cancer. Kerry also spoke about the positive impact that being in touch with our charity has had on her and so many other families, telling the audience: ‘I’m acutely aware that everyone in this room has their own story to tell and it is only as a result of everyone’s dedication and hard work that our daughter is alive today’.
I’d like to thank both Nicola and Kerry for attending and speaking at our event. I would also like to thank everyone who was able to attend, I know that many people travelled a long way to be with us and we know that with the support of such a vast array of people, one day we will beat blood cancer.