When I was very suddenly diagnosed with blood cancer my life went into a spin, with a whirlwind of emotions, thoughts, questions and fears so I can safely say that it was hugely life changing and I didn’t know where to turn. My life has remained changed three years on but in many positive ways and one of those being my involvement with Bloodwise. Finding Bloodwise was a big turning point for me and my family who have all become involved in one way or another.
Being involved with Bloodwise has played a massive part of finding myself again as well as enabling me to create a lot of positives from my devastating diagnosis. Being proactive has helped me get back control from a situation where I had no control, none of us have any control over a cancer diagnosis but we can control how we move forward. Also for me giving back has became really important as it dawned on me that being part of the solution, even though I am only a small part of it, really helped me find happiness again.
Coming to terms with living in remission from acute myeloid luekaemia (AML) is tough and means that I want my life to have purpose, it’s important for me to honour those we’ve lost and be worthy of the second chance I’ve been given. Blood cancer takes over your life, both physically and emotionally so being able to talk about all of the interesting, important and positive things I’ve been doing because of my involvement with Bloodwise has helped keep my focus away from the negatives of my situation.
Over the past three years my husband and I have done various fundraising events including a coast to coast bike ride, bikeathons, a spinathon, the Prudential Ride London, a Black Tie Ball, Northern Soul Night, Tea with the Girls coffee morning at a Golf Club, Golf Day, my Dad has done a Flute recital, my daughter sold Bloodwise pin badges at her school, me and my friend developed a Bloodwise candle, bucket collecting at Market Rasen race course, I made and sold show bows at my daughter’s Dance School and I am currently selling a brand new unworn wedding dress that was donated. As well as fundraising I have helped by reviewing patient information, studies, talking to my MP, a speech at the Impact Day, shared my experiences on the Bloodwise website and raised awareness of blood cancer and Bloodwise in my local area.
I will be forever grateful to those inspiring, selfless people in the past who have tirelessly given up their time to raise the vital funds that mean that I am still here today. Without their efforts the research carried out and advances in treatments and outcomes wouldn't have happened. I am aware of families who have gone on to campaign and fund raise even though their loved one hasn't survived and I'm unbelievably grateful to them as well as inspired by their strength. I am now playing my part, like they did, to help future generations survive and thrive.
Fundraising for Bloodwise is something I am passionate about because I know that every penny I pass on to them goes into the world class, lifesaving research that they carry out in the UK.
Friends and family often feel helpless when a loved one is diagnosed with a blood cancer so doing something practical like fundraising is really valuable in many ways. I know this from our own personal experience, many of our friends have taken on challenges such as the Leeds Triathalon, London Marathon, local cycling events, Great North Swim, Great North Run to name but a few and they continue to sign up for future events. It warms my heart when they tell me they have signed up for something for Bloodwise because they have been inspired by me.
It really is life changing, being involved, volunteering and fundraising opens you up to a world of wonderful, selfless and inspiring people who understand you and become your friends and support network. You may have been brought together by something dark but I can honestly say that they have helped me see the light again.
During the organising and running of these events we’ve had lots of fun, enhanced friendships, make new friendships and above all been touched by the many wonderful gestures from everyone around us, it really does put the feel good factor back into your life again.