WOLVERHAMPTON Wanderers FC medical department has once again used the festive period to raise vital funds for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia, this time raising over £5,500 through a series of memorabilia auctions and raffles in the lead up to Christmas.
Their ’12 Days of Christmas’ fundraiser saw a host of money-can’t-buy items available to Wolves fans through online raffles and auctions set up by Cure Leukaemia including signed match worn Rui Patricio goalkeeper gloves, and Adama Traore signed shirt and signed boots from star Mexican striker Raul Jimenez.
Their efforts follow the £11,045 they raised in December 2019 when 3 members of the team ran 10km every day during the busy December football programme. Their inspiration to support the charity comes from the club’s former goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who was diagnosed with blood cancer in the summer of 2017.
Shortly after Carl was diagnosed, the Wolves fans and staff mobilized in support of their goalkeeper raising over £150,000 for Cure Leukaemia enabling the charity to complete the funding required to expand the internationally renowned Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Three years later, the Wolves Medical department, led by Danny Fishwick, and fans of the gold and black continue to support the charity that announced its nationwide expansion in January 2020. All funds raised from ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ fundraiser will go towards funding specialist research nurses across the UK which form the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP). This network, which is co-ordinated by its Hub based at the CCH in Birmingham, connects blood cancer patients from a catchment area of over 20 million people with potentially life-saving treatments through pioneering clinical trials.
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a dramatic impact on Cure Leukaemia with the charity recording a £1,500,000 fundraising shortfall as a result of event cancellations and postponements. One of those postponed events was The Tour 21, led by former Wolves footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas who was due to lead a team of 20 amateur cyclists to ride the full Tour de France, one week ahead of the professionals. The event will now take place in June 2021 with their aim to raise in excess of £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia.
Speaking about ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ fundraising Geoff said:
“Just like last year, Danny, his colleagues and the Wolves fans have rallied to support our charity and we are immensely grateful for their efforts. Having sadly spent a lot of my time at Wolves with the medical team, I know how busy they can be especially during the Christmas period so the fact they have made this effort to help Cure Leukaemia is hugely appreciated and inspires myself and my Tour 21 team to drive forward with our own fundraising efforts this year.”
Danny Fishwick, who led the fundraising this year said:
“We are delighted to have raised such a fantastic amount for Cure Leukaemia from these raffles and auctions. We are so grateful to the players and staff that donated the items and of course the fans for taking part to raise funds. Wolves have been closely linked with Cure Leukaemia since Carl’s diagnosis and we are proud to keep that association going knowing that the funds go directly to helping save the lives of blood cancer patients across the UK.”