Louise Dawson
Posted by
Louise Dawson

Meet volunteer Louise Smith #volunteersweek

Louise Dawson
Posted by
Louise Dawson
02 Jun 2016

Q&A with our volunteer and ambassador Louise Smith #volunteersweek

1)    Please can you tell us about how you first became involved with Bloodwise?

When I was recovering from Hodgkins Lymphoma I had to build up my physical fitness and self-confidence. I had not been able to go anywhere by myself for nearly two years and had the added complication of having developed some hearing loss through chemo. I set the target of doing Race For Life in 2011, which I completed in just over an hour. I then heard about Ian Botham's Walk for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in 2012, and decided that I wanted to do something that was not exclusively for women, but targeted lymphoma research. I found this really challenging, but I had the added incentive that my daughter and her 10 week old baby were accompanying us. Everyone was so friendly and helped me when I was struggling and from then on, I became part of the Bloodwise family.

2)    Please can you call you us a little bit about the different voluntary activities you have been involved with to support Bloodwise?

I have completed the Beefy walk, helped and continue to help at the annual Birmingham Bikeathon, took part in a bucket collection at New Street Station  and two years ago I went to London to be filmed about my experiences as a Hodgkins Lymphoma patient. Before My Beefy Walk, I also went to talk to three men at Brewin Dolphin who were going to be cycling from London to Paris for Bloodwise so that they found out how important their fundraising was. I also contribute by buying Christmas cards from the shop and share encouraging words on patient blogs (something I wished had been available to me) and on Feel Alive Friday.

3)    What has been your most memorable experience whilst volunteering for Bloodwise?

My most memorable experience whilst volunteering was the sense of achievement when I finished Beefy's Walk; I came in nearly last, but I did it! Also, at the first Birmingham Bikeathon, I was helping on the start line. Seeing how many people had turned up to Centenary Square and that there were cyclists lined up as far as you could see, I just wanted to cry! Seeing them off was so emotional.

4)    What is your favourite thing about being a Bloodwise volunteer?

My favourite thing about being a Bloodwise volunteer is that we are like a family and we try to encourage and inform those who are new to our family.  I can still help others even though I am not able to do physically challenging activities.

5)    Do you have any top tips for our volunteers when they are out and about representing Bloodwise?

Be open and honest about how blood cancer affected/affects you, whether you are a patient, carer, or friend.

Find out more about volunteering for Bloodwise >