Samantha F.
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My day at Impact Midlands 

Samantha F.
Posted by
11 Jun 2017

I attended Impact Midlands as an ambassador and just thought I would share how the day went!

I had planned to write this much earlier than now but I have a good excuse.. I started a new job and it’s been so overwhelming, I have been more exhausted than normal and I usually just sleep and chill once I get back from work although hopefully once I get into more of a routine I should okay. I had been off work ever since I was diagnosed with cancer in January 2014 and been alone most of the time post treatment has made it so much harder, also anxiety and depression literally took over my life so I found it hard. Harder than I thought it would be. I don’t want to get into everything now but I might write a post soon about how hard it’s been for me and how I’m settling into my new job.

To be honest I do wish I could have written this earlier as now I’m struggling to remember what happened but I hope you enjoy reading! On Saturday 20th May I attended Impact Midlands. Bloodwise are holding 5 Impact days around the UK this year. They are in London & South East, Scotland, Wales & South West, North and the Midlands! It was a chance to hear from leading researchers, health professionals, and inspirational people whose lives have been affected by blood cancer. I was so excited to be at the Birmingham one and help out as an ambassador. The Birmingham Impact day was being held at Birmingham University and I brought my mom and sister along with me for support. We got to Staff House about 9am and I met Emma and Louise from the Birmingham office. I was earlier enough to help out with putting up banners etc. I then was greeting guests as they arrived with Andy and Lena from the London office. 

There were a few stalls selling Bloodwise merchandise and promoting events. There was also a stall for patient information which is very helpful for anyone going through treatment. The booklets helped me so much throughout treatment as there so many terms in blood cancer and it can get really confusing so if you’re reading this and have just started treatment please get it touch with Bloodwise and grab yourself one. 

The talks started with a welcome from The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and why he chose Bloodwise as his supporting charity. His daughters best friend was diagnosed with a blood cancer which was one of his reasons among others. Me and a few more of the ambassadors actually got to talk to him after the event and it was so nice to let him know our stories and have a picture taken.

We then had a talk from Alasdair Rankin who is the director of research at Bloodwise and it was so interesting to hear what research Bloodwise are currently funding. At any one time they have over £90 million invested in research, and they are currently funding over 1,000 researchers and clinicians across more than 220 active research projects. Next, Louise Smith who is a blood cancer patient talked about her cancer experience. I actually know Louise quite well and she’s become such a good friend so I knew listening to her speech was going to be emotional. Her whole story was so inspirational and if you would like to know more she actually writes blogs for Bloodwise on their website so click HERE and check them out! I’m sure most people in the room had tears in their eyes while listening to her story. After Louise, Prof. Paul Murray from the University of Birmingham gave a talk about what research they are currently doing with so many statistics but he put it in a way that everyone could understand (even me) and it all made complete sense. I wish I had taken a couple of pictures from the slideshow as it was so good. Birmingham University are currently doing so much amazing research which is helping to beat blood cancer sooner and I was seriously in awe of how much they are doing. 

The regional manger (Emma Jane Jones) from Bloodwise Midlands then closed the event and we had lunch which was so so good and I couldn’t have been quicker to get in line as my stomach had been making dying whale sounds from about 11am.. 

The day was filled with so many amazing stories from people affected by blood cancer and everyone I spoke too actually said this year was better than the last which I definitely agreed with as this year just seemed to go so much smoother. I was so happy I could be there as I really enjoyed the day. It was so lovely to catch up with my Bloodwise family and I can’t wait for the next event.

 

Comments

20.06.2017

It sounds like it was a really great day Samantha, so glad you enjoyed it. The talks sounded brilliant. Really hope you're doing well and settling into your new job ok. Take care and all the best, Alice