I was taking a look through some blog posts on the site recently about a photography exhibition by Clare Park. The Gathering Light exhibition, which happened earlier in the summer, explored the relationship between 5 clinical researchers and their patients. We have blogs on the site from the point of view of the photographer Clare, one of the featured researchers, Dr Emma Morris and her patient John Gebbles. In her post Emma describes the symbiotic relationship between researcher and patient: "In some circumstances, patients volunteer to take part in studies where the potential benefit to them individually is unknown. It is an extraordinary example of unselfishness, generosity, hope and human spirit. In such cases, the perseverance, determination and vision of the researcher is more than met by their partner in discovery. We are totally dependent on each other."
I was reminded of this when a story of unselfishness and human spirit involving a doctor and his patient arrived in my inbox this week. Professor Francesco Dazzi and his patient Valeri are following in the footsteps of the cycling Olympians and taking on the most extreme challenge this year's London Bikeathon has to offer: the killer 75 mile Box Hill Route.
Some time ago Valeri received a bone marrow transplant which eradicated his leukaemia. However as a result of the transplant Valeri unfortunately developed graft versus host disease (GvHD) which has left his skin and muscles stiff and inflexible. Despite his disability, Valeri is keen to take on the Bikeathon's toughest ride. Meanwhile Francesco describes himself as "overweight and unfit and there is very little time to get ready before the event!" He's keen to help raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research as we are supporting his research on graft versus host disease.
This Box Hill Route is seriously tough, with over 4 miles of continuous ascent but Francesco and Valeri are determined to complete it in their bid to raise £3000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. This inspiring patient/doctor team of two are taking on blood cancer head on, together. What better example could you find of the relationship based on unselfishness, generosity, hope and human spirit that Emma is writing about?