Monday, 15 July 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Monday, 15 July 2024

Championing the fight against blood cancer all year round

BLOOD Cancer Awareness Month this September plays a crucial role in putting the spotlight on a disease that more than 240,000 people in the UK are living with. It provides an opportunity to educate the population about the signs and symptoms of blood cancer, as well as the treatment options. 

But for blood cancer research charity, Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK (LMRUK), that work goes on every day, 12 months of the year. They are dedicated in their mission to prevent people from dying from blood cancer through more effective treatment in the future.

LMRUK works tirelessly in this fight by funding innovative research projects and by offering vital fundraising opportunities, as well as a cord blood stem cell storage service called the Model Cell Biobank. 

School Textile Recycling Scheme and Online Shop

Raising awareness of the power of recycling textiles and raising money to beat blood cancer – that’s the focus of LMRUK’s School Textile Recycling Scheme which operates in the Merseyside and Greater Manchester area.

The scheme encourages children to collect pre-loved, good-quality clothing and other items they no longer use, pack them into special collection bags and take them to school. LMRUK arranges to collect the bags and sends the school a certificate of how much their donations have raised for the charity. The items collected are sold via the charity’s online shop which showcases clothing and accessories for men, women and children, as well as a boutique section for designer goods. 

With an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing sent to landfill in 2018, it’s a powerful way to help raise funds for the charity and help the planet too.

Fundraising

With an average of 33 per cent of LMRUK’s total income coming from individual donations and fundraising events, the charity relies heavily on the generosity of its supporters to help fund vital research to find new treatments for blood cancer.

To encourage fundraising activity, the charity uses a section of its website to showcase a calendar of UK events to inspire people to play their part. From half and full marathons to skydives and mountain climbs, fundraisers can find a myriad of diverse events with details on how to enter.

LMRUK supports fundraisers by providing a promotional bundle of branded flags, banners, T-shirts and collection tins, along with a fundraising pack with all the information needed on how to run a successful fundraising event. For more information about upcoming fundraising events and to find out how you could get involved, please visit: https://lmruk.org/fundraising/. 

Championing the fight against blood cancer all year round

Model Cell Biobank

One of the key services LMRUK offers in the fight against blood cancer is an umbilical cord blood banking service called the Model Cell Biobank, which is provided free or at a subsidised rate for qualifying families. 

Blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after birth contains stem cells that can be used to treat blood cancers and genetic disorders. LMRUK offers to collect and store these stem cells, without putting the mother or baby at any risk, in case either the child or another family member requires them in the future.

Four-time Winter Olympian, snowboard cross-athlete Zoe Gillings-Brier, took the step to store the stem cells of both of her children and is now an official LMRUK Charity Ambassador.

Zoe said:

“Umbilical cord stem cells can only be taken at the time of birth, so it’s a very now or never situation. I’d definitely recommend storing umbilical cord blood stem cells to friends and family. They are currently being used to treat over 80 life-threatening illnesses. Knowing that we have our children’s cord blood stem cells securely banked, should they ever need them, is very reassuring.”

Learn more about LMRUK’s Model Cell Biobank Service by visiting: https://lmruk.org/model-cell-biobank-service/ or enquiring via: cs@modelcellbiobank.org

Research    

Funding research into new and more effective blood cancer treatments and stem cell therapies is a fundamental part of LMRUK’s work. The charity’s Trustees and Research Review Committee consider applications for the annual Research Grant from UK research institutions under the terms of the Research and Grant Policy.

The charity’s funding priorities are very much focused on research that advances understanding of stem cells and how they can be used to treat blood cancer, particularly in terms of stem cell transplants.

All grant applications are considered by LMRUK’s Research Review Committee, which includes expert scientists and clinicians appointed by the charity’s Board. This year’s £25,000 Research Grant was awarded to Dr Ricardo Fernandes and his team at the Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, who are trying to find a way to shut down a specific malfunctioning protein linked with a high number of blood cancer cases.

To keep up to date with LMRUK’s latest work, read about their inspiring fundraisers or learn more about blood cancer and stem cells, visit their website: https://lmruk.org/.

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