rich Castle
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Patient rep Lab visit at guys hopital.

rich Castle
Posted by
17 Dec 2014

Party night and visit to Professor David Grimwade at Guys Hospital to discuss mrd testing and lab visit.

Hi Folks.

Well the last couple of days have been all about llr. Yesterday I got invited to the staff xmas party where I had a fab time thanks to Andy Jackson I met some of the wonderful people who make this charity rock. People like Andy, Ben Sykes, Tracey Sweeney, Caitlin, Ellie Dawes, the ever lovely Helen Marsden, Lauren Dias, CEO Cathy Gilman and a whole load of others. I treated them to my rendition of David Brents' The Office red nose day dance (mc hammer fused with a bit of Flashdance) which I'm sure truly impressed them lol.I've also now been conscripted-err, I mean tempted into riding the London to Paris Bike Ride for the Charity next September by Becca (I think that was her name lol)

Today, as part of my role as a patient rep for clinical trials (AML) I went to visit Prof David Grimwade who works at Guys hospital and is doing wonderful work into the use of MRD (Minimal residual disease) testing (research into this test was funded by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research) in the treatment of Blood Cancer. We discussed the MRD test and it's effectiveness in determining the best treatment for blood cancer. It's this test that detected my molecular relapse nearly 5 and a half years ago and it's due to that test that I'm still here. This test is saving lives as we speak and it's thanks to wonderful people like David that we will one day have a cure for blood cancer. 

I was also given a tour of his lab and got to see an mrd test in action. I also learnt that my transplant I had can cost in the region of 50-100k (depending on treatment, complications etc) and it makes me even more determined to raise more money to help beat blood cancer.

This charity is awesome, and if anyone asks me why I do what I do for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research it's because of them that I'm still here, and the small but important glimse of Prof Grimwade's vital work today has only forced me to redouble my fundraising efforts.





It was great to see you on Tuesday night, Rich - the dance was something to behold!

More importantly though it sounds like the patient representative role is working out really well and I think it's fantastic that you were able to go and see first hand where the money goes and how it's making a difference to help beat blood cancer.

Reading your blog has helped re-invigorate me, too, in my own fundraising efforts. We'll need to get another one of your legendary quiz nights organised soon. Especially if you're going to need to raise money to cycle London to Paris!


Cheers for the reply Andy.

Yep, I really hope to be able to get the time off to do London to Paris. I checked the leave schedules (our leave is allocated in blocks with only a certain number allowed off in any block so as to not have so many drivers off at the same time that the company has to cancel trains) and the block that covers London to Paris is fully taken, so I'll have to see how I can get round this. 

Many thanks for posting the links on my blog. I think it's helpful that readers can read the blog then read further into topics such as the MRD testing. It really is exciting to be involved in something like the patient rep role and I seem to remember the role appeared on llrs facebook page and you nominated me for it. well I'm so glad you did as this sort of thing is right up my street. 

I'll be doing the quiz night sometime in the new year and will make sure this is well advertised. I'm maybe thinking of a valentines themed quiz/disco to get people to 'love llr' or something like that.

If I dont see/speak to you before, I hope that you, Lauren and the family have a great christmas.



Hi Rich! I'm glad you remember being talked into our London | Paris bike ride! And I'm glad you remembered my name! 

I sent you a flyer and my business card in the post, so fingers crossed you're able to find a way to get the time off. 

Just let me know if I can help with anything at all. 



Aww thanks Bekah. It was great to meet you. You are a love.

as it stands I'm going to have to try and get my allocated leave changed to the week of the ride as at the moment that leave block is full (our leave is allocated to prevent too many train drivers off at once ) but I'll certainly give it my best shot.

Have a lovely christmas and we'll catch up soon.