Impact Day 2015

13 Apr 2015

An inspiring day and a personal milestone

I always look forward to Impact Day, a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, reflect on the great achievements and strides forward we have made and look at the exciting plans for how we can get closer to our shared goal of beating blood cancer in this lifetime. This year though was also a bit of an anniversary for me as it was 20 years ago I was diagnosed with Acute promyelocytic leukaemia, so to be here with my family and watch my 8 year old daughter happily meeting new people and listening to the talks was an amazing feeling, her notes on Cathy Gilman's speech are in the photo!

In Pelham Allen's introduction he including a mention for our branch now celebrating it's 50th year and thanked everyone at Impact Day as without them he would not be here today (A sentiment I certainly share!). Cathy Gilman gave a stirring walk through our history and the exciting projects ahead and then our infectiously enthusiastic head of research Chris Bunce guided us through the ten types of cell changes linked to cancer and we were fortunate enough to hear from some amazing Drs (Melania Capasso) and Professors (Mark Cragg, Kwee Yong & Duncan Baird) on the detailed work they are undertaking to identify and combat these causes.

After a quick lunch, some more catching up and a walk around the fantastic exhibition which flowed on from last years walk through our history to take us to the future John Reeve gave us an emotional talk on his time with the charity and how we are evolving from being purely research focused to putting patient needs at the heart of everything we do. Lauren Dias then gave us an insight into the data collated from the patient needs study with extremely interesting results followed by David Henderson's talk on how we will move forward with on what we now know, hopefully the new signposting service will make patients lives easier at a time when they need answers and support the most. It was interesting to hear the views of clinical nurse Andie Guy in an interview covering patient needs and getting the balance right between spotting tell tale signs and not assuming the worst when feeling a bit run down.

Nobody can have failed to have been moved by patient Paul Carless's story and motivated by how he is now living life to the full with his various fund raising escapades! This led to an emotionally charged but rousing close from Cathy Gilman to a truly inspiring day!

Comments

Anonymous
13.04.2015

Many thanks Steve for this excellent precis of the Day's events - I certainly share in your hopes that the new signposting service will make patients lives easier, providing support at the time most needed. I love Sophie's notes!

Hi Judy it was good to see you at Impact Day. Yes they're great, I gave her my notebook and pen assuming she would draw or write her own story so was shocked when she handed it back to me and I saw she had been taking notes on the talks! 

16.04.2015

Great to hear you had such a good time at Impact Day, Steven. I was gutted that I couldn't be there this year - I was busy being put through my paces on my stag do in Bristol - but I was there in spirit and am so, so proud of Paul who came to us at last year's Impact Day lost and frightened. What a difference a year can make!

Huge congratulations on reaching 20 years in remission - an absolutely incredible milestone well worth celebrating!

Hi Andy, I hope you've recovered form your stag weekend fully now! Paul gave a fantatstic stirring speech. 

Thanks it certainly is!