We are Bloodwise
We were founded back in 1960 by the Eastwoods, a family who lost their 6 year old daughter Susan to leukaemia.
At the time, most people thought nothing could be done, but Susan’s parents saw things differently. They believed there could and should be hope for people with blood cancers.
Fast forward to today, and with over half a billion pounds raised and invested in research, we’re proving them right. Together with researchers, supporters and donors, we’ve helped to change the world for people with blood cancers.
More and more patients are surviving for longer and we can start to talk seriously about living well with blood cancers.
Realising just how much things have changed, in 2013 we decided it was time to take stock, to stand back and plan our next 50 years.
As always, we focused on what matters most – patients.
We started by launching a pioneering new research programme into patient need. We wanted to understand exactly what it means to live with blood cancer today. To see the world through the eyes of patients and their carers, so we could work out how best to help them live their lives.
Our Patient Need programme embraced people with all types of blood cancer, along with their families, doctors, nurses and researchers.
The things we’ve learned are helping us set our course for the future.
Amongst all the brilliant insights from our Patient Need programme, three big challenges stood out...
The world simply doesn’t understand blood cancers
People don’t realise blood cancers are the third biggest cancer killer, or that anyone can get blood cancer whatever age, stage or lifestyle. What’s more, patients feel that doctors and nurses don’t know enough about the different variants and symptoms, meaning cases can go undiagnosed and sometimes patients die soon after diagnosis.
Blood cancer patients don’t feel part of a community or a cause
Because there are so many types of blood cancer, with different names and symptoms, our patients don’t have a sense of shared identity. Some don’t even see themselves as cancer patients. And, while there are lots of great organisations out there, most focus on individual diseases. It all means that patients can often feel isolated and alone.
People struggle to find info and support when they need it
There’s no clear signpost or place to go when you’re diagnosed and patients often don’t know where to turn. Sadly, our old name, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, was stopping us from helping. It didn’t embrace all our patients. It talked about leukaemia and lymphoma but left out dozens of other blood cancers including myeloma, the biggest blood cancer killer.
We quickly realised we needed to tackle these challenges head on, to build on our research work and take on a broader role as a patient champion and provider of support.
We decided to do three big things...
Set up a blood cancer signposting service
We decided to build a hub for patients and carers – a place to go with the latest information and insight, partnering with other organisations to bring a strong sense of community and mutual support to people with all types of blood cancer.
Launch a major blood cancer awareness campaign
We set ourselves the challenge of creating a high profile campaign dedicated to raising awareness of blood cancers – and of Bloodwise – timed to launch in blood cancer awareness month in September 2015.
Change our name
And we agreed it was time to ﬁnd a new name for our charity. A name that shows we’re here for all blood cancer patients, for their families and friends. A name that grabs the attention and signals just how important blood cancer and blood health are for everyone in the country.
Why we chose Bloodwise
We chose Bloodwise because it embraces all blood cancer patients. Because it unites everything we do from our research and thought leadership to our patient support services and fundraising. And because it’s true to our past, right for our present and exciting for our future.
Yes, it’s very different and quite surprising but it’s also simple, short and easy to remember - which is so important when you’ve just been diagnosed and your world has turned upside down.
We love Bloodwise because it’s a brand new word, dedicated to people affected by blood cancer.
We love it because it feels positive and hopeful, because blood connects us. And we love it because it’s inspired by our belief that life is a gift to be used wisely and lived fiercely.