FAMILIES dealing with the pain of losing a loved one to blood cancer have found some comfort in raising funds for the blood cancer research charity, Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK (LMRUK) in their memory.
It’s not only about donating money to the charity’s vital work to find a cure for this awful disease, but also about raising awareness of the symptoms and the support that is out there.
Here are four stories of LMRUK fundraisers who are determined to help beat blood cancer once and for all, following the loss of a loved one.
Sandra White from Bedfordshire was a ‘much-loved mother and sister’ who tragically passed away from leukaemia not long after she had retired.
Her sons Andy and Russell White, along with her younger brother Malcolm Dent raised more than £1,000 for LMRUK by taking part in the iconic, 55-mile London to Brighton bike ride in September 2022.
“We chose the London to Brighton ride because we all like cycling, so it meant we could take part in something together to remember mum while raising money for a very worthy cause at the same time.
“I didn’t know anything at all about LMRUK or their work before mum’s diagnosis, but having researched more about the charity we all really wanted to support it.”
Rachel is remembered by her loving parents as ‘a brave, beautiful daughter’. She sadly died last year, aged 51 from Acute Myelomal Leukaemia (AML) despite receiving chemotherapy and a subsequent stem cell transplant.
Her parents, David and Helen Stickler, have donated £2,000 to the charity, thanks to the kind and generous donations from family and friends who attended their daughter’s funeral. They also donated Rachel’s designer clothes to LMRUK to sell via its online charity shop.
David and Helen are determined to raise awareness of the early symptoms of AML and want to see improvements in the diagnosis of the disease. This is following Rachel’s late diagnosis which saw her voice concerns about her health, six months before she was told she had blood cancer.
“Rachel was determined to do all she could to get better, but the late diagnosis did not give her much chance of survival. We became aware of Leukaemia and Myeloma Research UK from the website and were both very keen to support it.”
Dom Cleary wanted to raise money for LMRUK in 2022 in memory of his father, Dennis who passed away from leukaemia at the age of 62.
Dom and his partner Naomi Robinson raised more than £1,000 by completing the ‘Snowdon At Night’ Challenge, an eight-hour-long, 21km trek up the highest mountain in Wales, in darkness.
Dom wanted to raise money to help fund vital research into the disease. Dom said:
“We just wanted to do something to help those who are working so hard to find a cure, so that other people can keep their loved ones around longer.”
Howard Campion was an ‘amazing Grandad, Dad and Husband, who was an entertainer and inspiration to all that he met’.
In his memory, his daughter Debbie Nield and her husband Tony, along with their daughter Katie and her partner Ben will be taking on the ‘Trek to Petra’ challenge in Jordan later this year. They have pledged to raise £12,000 for LMRUK to help fund more research and improve the treatment for blood cancer.
Although they are slightly apprehensive about the trek, Debbie said:
“We will be driven by the memories of Dad who was an amazing man, with a love for life.”
If you and your family want to donate or raise funds for LMRUK in memory of a relative, visit: https://lmruk.org/donate-in-memory/.