FINDING new and effective treatments for blood cancer using stem cell therapies is Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK’s (LMRUK) primary vision. The charity invests in specialist research through its annual grant scheme, which wouldn’t be possible without the support of incredible fundraisers who take on exhilarating challenges to raise vital funds to help protect the next generation.
Meet LMRUK’s latest fundraiser
21-year-old Ben Saunders from Eastbourne in East Sussex is gearing up to take part in an epic skydiving challenge to raise money for LMRUK, in memory of childhood friend, William Pearce.
William was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of one and was treated throughout his childhood, however, he sadly passed away aged 11. Growing up, Ben and his friends took part in fundraising challenges in support of a local children’s charity that provided care for William and his family during his treatment.
Ben wants to continue raising money and awareness to help beat blood cancer, so whilst completing his apprenticeship with Openreach this year to become a qualified Fibre Engineer, he has signed up to participate in the company-wide challenge, ‘The Big Charity Tandem Skydive’ taking place in June 2022. The challenge will see over 300 Openreach engineers across the UK safely fall from 10,000 feet over a 48-hour period to raise money for a charity of their choice.
Ben recalled William being fascinated by the military, planes and parachute operations when they were younger, so felt that taking part in the skydive in William’s memory was a fitting way to remember him.
“I want to help fund research that will potentially support finding a cure for children and adults diagnosed with leukaemia. I did some reading and once I found out about the incredible research LMRUK invests in, I didn’t hesitate in choosing them to fundraise for.”
Ben is aiming to raise £450 and is already over halfway there having received generous donations from family members.
“I’ve had some amazing donations so far and with just under two months to go, I am hoping to secure some more.”
Ben’s parents, Nick and Anita will join other family members and friends to cheer him on from the ground in June. Ben explained:
“When I first told my parents I was taking part in a skydive my mum said, ‘Are you sure want to do that?’, but she’s come around now, and she’s really proud and excited for me.”
Thanks to his job which requires him to climb telephone poles to complete essential work, Ben has no fear of heights, he said:
“I’m feeling confident for the skydive; it definitely helps that I’ll be jumping with a colleague who is a former member of the Parachute Regiment, so he’s not nervous at all.”
If you’ve been inspired by Ben’s story to take on your own skydiving challenge or to explore other fundraising opportunities for LMRUK, visit their website to find out how to get involved: https://lmruk.org/fundraising-events-and-challenges/.
All money raised will help fund specialist research to understand the causes of blood cancer and explore more effective treatments to protect the next generation.
For more information about LMRUK, visit: https://lmruk.org/