Education

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September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Blood Cancer Awareness Month an internationally recognized awareness month, which takes place in September.

Bright Red registered the month in the UK a few years ago with the hope of uniting blood cancer charities together in the fight against blood cancers. Treating blood cancers, and one day curing blood cancers, requires a team effort. It’s wonderful to see that this year there’s so much going on to help raise awareness.

Blood cancers don’t discriminate and can affect anyone at anytime. Symptoms of these diseases can often be put down to something else. A shocking 33% of cases are diagnosed via emergency admissions. Early diagnosis can make all the difference when it comes to treatment. Leukaemia Care’s “Be Blood Cancer Aware” campaign is a fantastic step in the right direction. You can learn more about it here : http://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/blood-cancer-awareness-month.

Blood cancers can be extremely complex.  Some patients will require a bone marrow/stem cell transplant as part of their treatment.  For many, a transplant will be their only chance of a cure.

With a significant proportion of transplants now involving unrelated donors, raising awareness of the transplant process is vital.  Many potential donors are afraid of the donating, however 90% of people donate their stem cells in a quick and easy process, which is similar to giving blood.

Anthony Nolan, Delete Blood Cancer and the NHS Blood and Transplant service all actively recruit potential donors to the bone marrow register. With thousands of patients worldwide still looking for their match, it’s important we keep encouraging healthy, able donors to join.

Patients undergoing treatment for blood cancer often require blood or platelet transfusions.  With cancer diagnosis rates on the increase there’s a huge demand on blood donors, and yet only 4% of the able population donate blood.

We need more blood donors.  By giving new recruits an understanding of why it’s so important, we hope that people will take the time to donate.

We do hope you’ll be able to participate in the month in some way. However large or small your participation may be, I can assure you it will help to make a difference.  Whether you decide to give blood, join the stem cell register or fund raise to help the fight against blood cancer, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

You can also come and join us on our Light Red Glow Stick Walk on Sunday 27 September. Everyone is welcome.

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Fundraiser Friday – The Robsons

Today’s Fundraiser Friday is dedicated to an extraordinary family – the Robsons. We wanted to feature them together, because anyone who knows the Robsons, knows they come as a team.

They became involved with Bright Red through Lee Robson. Lee was Bright Red’s first Ambassador, and sadly passed away after his second fight against leukaemia.

When I first started at Bright Red, I was working part time and my job was very much about administration. My mother, Maureen, was Lee’s transplant nurse during his first battle. It was only really when I built a friendship with Lee and his family that I truly understood the wider impact of blood cancer, and what more we need to do to help families like his.

Lee was a very special man. He was extremely driven and passionate, and inspired people to do more. When you meet his family, you can understand where he gets it from.

Members of Lee’s family have climbed Kilimanjaro, taken part in our events, organised their own fun runs, and have arranged numerous fundraising events in Consett. Collectively they’ve raised thousands for Bright Red. They’ve helped recruit people to the transplant register, encouraged people to donate blood and have kept me motivated and on track when I’ve struggled.

Lucy says “Helping Lee through diagnosis, illness and treatment, and then finally laying him to rest is the hardest thing we have ever experienced. Watching someone you love and respect become a shadow of their former self because of this awful disease is enough for me to want to fundraise as much as possible.

We fundraise for two main reasons. The main reason is that we don’t want any other family to watch their loved one die. The second reason is that we want to keep Lee’s memory alive. He did so much for others, and believed that together we can find a way to stop this disease. We all believe that too, but we know we’ll only be able to beat it together, and we won’t stop fund-raising until we do.”

Bright Red can never thank you all enough.

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Bright Red Auction

As you may be aware, May 2015 marks Bright Red’s 5th anniversary. To date we have invested over £1,000,000 in the region. We’ve helped improve patient care, invested in staff development, funded multiple research projects and purchased vital equipment.

Over the next five years we hope to invest much more and would like your help to do that.

 We have decided to bring back the Bright Red Auction and are looking for donations. We will host the auction via a site called Jumblebee. The full address is : http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/brightredauction

 Bidding will open on Monday 17 May. This is the day after our two largest events, the Freeman Fun Run and the Ride for Red. The auction will run until midnight on Thursday 28 May which is World Blood Cancer Day.

If you are able to support the charity, please email Support@brightred.org.uk with details of any auction lots. 

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£5 for 5

Our regular donors are the backbone of the charity. It is thanks to our regular donors that we have been able to do as much as we have. In our first five years we have invested over £1,000,000 into improving patient care, developing staff and funding research.

Increasing our regular income will help us become a more sustainable charity. It also means that we will be able to invest in more long term projects.

Over the next 5 years we want to;

  1. Employ another Bright Red Outreach Nurse
  2. Support more patients across the North
  3. Support clinic trials
  4. Increase educational funding
  5. Increase funding into research.

To help us achieve this we have launched our regular giving campaign, £5 for 5. The more we raise, the more we can spend on our fight against blood cancer.

You can sign up here

EORTC Lymphoma Meeting

Bright Red recently paid for two members of the specialist heamatology team (Joanne Wincup and Sophie Alderson) to attend the EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer) Lymphoma Meeting in Antwerp.

The aims of the EORTC are to develop, conduct, coordinate, and stimulate translational and clinical research in Europe to improve the management of cancer and related problems by increasing survival but also patient quality of life.

With heamatology being so specialised these kind of focused events, are extremely beneficial.

Joanne Wincup said “Sophie and I would like to say thank you to everyone at Bright Red for allowing us both to attend this meeting as we gained valuable insight into the history, current treatment and the future of Hodgkins Lymphoma.”

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Bright Red Turns Five!

In 2015 Bright Red turns five. During our first five years Bright Red has invested over £1,000,000 to improve patient care, develop staff, support research and purchase equipment across the north east.

We have plans to increase support in all three of our key areas and will soon be launching our £5 for 5 regular giving campaign to help us achieve our goals. More to come soon.

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