Jaguar Land Rover presented Cure Leukaemia with a cheque for £20,000 at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a team of staff took part in the Great Birmingham Run.
Last October, 50 office staff from Jaguar Land Rover and 10 employees of their creative agency Pink Squid ran the Great Birmingham Run to raise a figure that is worth £200,000 in potentially life-saving drug and transplant treatments for blood cancer patients in the Midlands.
Beverley Fairbank, Employee Relations Director at Jaguar Land Rover, represented the team as she visited the CCH to present the cheque to Professor Charlie Craddock CBE, Cure Leukaemia Trustee Richard Turnbull, his daughter Grace and blood cancer patient John Lovell.
Professor Craddock gave Beverley a tour of the Centre before John, who is in remission from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), described how Jaguar Land Rover's fundraising has helped people like him.
John was diagnosed with AML 12 months ago, and after all standard care options had been exhausted he was placed on a world first treatment called RAVVA which is a randomized clinical trial examining the activity of combined azacitadine and vorinostat in AML. This trial, administered at the CCH by Cure Leukaemia funded specialist research nurse Donna Walsh has offered John an option of clinically effective therapy he would otherwise not have been able to access.
Richard Turnbull's four-year-old daughter is living proof of the impact of the advances in treatment Cure Leukaemia supports on patients' lives and the groundbreaking progress in the treatment of blood cancer at the CCH. Richard's wife Rebecca was treated at the CCH for Hodgkin's lymphoma, receiving what was then a new type of treatment, developed through clinical research trials.
If she had received the previous standard treatment, it is unlikely that she could ever have had children and Grace would never have been born.
Beverley said: “It was fantastic to meet Professor Craddock and visit the CCH to see the amazing facility and people our fundraising has helped support. Meeting John and hearing his story was incredibly inspiring and I am proud that our fundraising and running efforts in the Great Birmingham Run last year has helped people suffering from this dreadful disease. I'm sure all of our runners will be delighted to see the difference fundraising for Cure Leukaemia has made.”
Richard said: “We are so grateful to Jaguar Land Rover and Pink Squid for raising such a fantastic amount for Cure Leukaemia. I know from personal experience the importance of the work Cure Leukaemia supports. My daughter might not be here without the amazing progress that has and is being made in the treatment of blood cancer at the CCH and without the fundraising of people like Jaguar Land Rover and Pink Squid such progress would not be possible.”
Cure Leukaemia are hoping for their biggest ever team for the Great Birmingham Run in 2016 so if you have been inspired by these stories and would like to run for the charity you can sign up for free by emailing Joe@CureLeukaemia.co.uk. Cure Leukaemia ask for a minimum fundraising total of £299 in return for free entry.
To enter the Great Birmingham Run, visit greatrun.org/birmingham