2022 has certainly been a strange year; we’ve seen two prime minister resignations within three months, the death of the Queen and a dormant black hole found outside of the Milky Way. However, despite these changes, we have continued campaigning for immunocompromised voices to be heard. From campaigns such as Spot Leukaemia and Left to Watch Wait Worry, we have worked hard behind the scenes to represent and be the voice of leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) patients.
Throughout the year, we have continued to provide patients and their families more support than ever, continuing to host more webinars, partner more buddies and support more people on our helpline than in 2021. Here is a little more of what we did:
• 1,152 people rang our helpline and received the support they deserved
• We answered 681 enquiries via WhatsApp
• Our Advocacy Team responded to 228 queries through their inbox, and our Welfare Officer supported 165 people
• Our Patient Support Team hosted a whopping 157 support group meetings
• Our Buddy Coordinator matched 123 pairs, who continue to support one another on their journeys
• 464 £200 grants were given out to those who needed additional financial support
• Our counselling fund allowed 35 people receive extra support and advice from a mental health professional
• 51 patient stories made it to the national press, and a whopping 513 patient stories were in regional press
Not only have we been working behind the scenes offering one on one support, we have also been working to generate more awareness, engage with more MP’s and create new and innovative fundraising events. Here are some of our yearly highlights…
25th March - Announced our new celebrity ambassador, Bailey Patrick
We announced our new celebrity ambassador Bailey Patrick, a London-based actor who has appeared in shows such as Netflix’s Bridgerton, Acorn TV’s London Kills and BBC’s Eastenders. Bailey was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) after developing symptoms on a family holiday when he was just four years old in 1991. He says his diagnosis has inspired him to chase his dreams of being an actor and to show people that you can do whatever you want to do.
1st - 30th April - Left to #WatchWaitWorry
Our Left to #WatchWaitWorry campaign returned for another to support chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients who are not offered treatment straight away, but instead are put on Watch and Wait; a process that is often called ‘Watch and Worry’. In the month of April, we shared patient stories, asked you to write a letter to your elected representative, and shared our ‘Watchies’.
• We secured nine parliamentary questions asked by MP’s in Westminster and two parliamentary questions in Scotland
• We had a Facebook engagement of 647,854 from those viewing, sharing our graphics and getting involved in the campaign
29th May - We cycled our way to the finish line at RideLondon
Our team of cyclists did us proud at the 2022 RideLondon; our biggest cycling event to date! 47 cyclists geared and raised a jaw-dropping total of £40,546! Head over to page 20 to find out how to become a member of Team LC in 2023.
13th August - Annual Community Gathering
Staff, volunteers and supporters of Leukaemia Care came together for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We met virtually to discuss updates with healthcare professionals, allow patients to meet other like-minded people and to present our volunteer awards. Watch this space to hear what we have planned for 2023!
1st - 30th September - Spot Leukaemia
Henry the parrot spread his wings far and wide in September for our relaunch of Spot Leukaemia, a campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia. ‘#SpotLeukaemia’ reached over 8,600,000 people across the world in 2022 and Henry parroted on to reach 97,397,717 people’s screens; our feathered friend certainly did an excellent job!
We promise Spot Leukaemia 2023 will be even bigger and better!
4th September - World Leukemia Day
Global patient communities across the world came together on the 4th of September to continue raising awareness of leukemia. This year’s theme was “What does Leukemia mean to you?” and encouraged all affected by leukemia to share their stories.
12th September - We welcomed Unicorns to Bristol!
That’s right, we hosted a colourful party back in September to showcase and unveil our first Unicorn! Goldie-horn is the first of many Unicorns who will find a home in Bristol for our trail in 2023. Find out more here.
2nd October - We ran the marathon!
The London Marathon went full steam ahead on October 2nd and our Team LC runners certainly made us proud. Take a look at this year’s runners here.
22nd October - We levelled up with World Gaming Day
22nd October 2022 saw the very first World Gaming Day; a new fundraising opportunity to get involved with Leukaemia Care. The concept was simple – gather your friends, get the snacks in and play your favourite games. Across the UK, gamers of every magnitude gathered to take part, no matter if they were streamers, board-gamers, retro-games or casual players.
Thank you to all who took part!
All of this would not have been possible without your continued support this year. We’re grateful to all our fundraisers who have gone above and beyond to raise funds for to support everyone affected by leukaemia.
This Blood Cancer Awareness Month saw our annual Step Out Challenge where our amazing fundraisers pulled on their trainer, got outside and raised over £15,000! We want to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful fundraisers but a special shout out goes to our top 5 Step Out fundraisers – Victoria Emes, Ben Panesar, Lisa Lee, Donna Fessy and Beryl Gausden – your hard work and dedication means we are able to continue working to support those affected by leukaemia.
We had some incredible fundraising events and challenges this year! Our amazing London Marathon runners raised a HUGE £396,461! A special thank you to our highest LM fundraiser Gemma Hobbs who raised over £5,500.
We also have some fantastic supporters who are back out in the community raising awareness and fundraising through local supermarket collections – a big shout out to our fantastic community collectors John Bradley and Tony Wright.
We also need to give a special mention to Diane Murray for her relentless loyalty and for just being the best collector for LC for years! In the last week of November alone she raised over £600 with her collections with 6 more between then and Christmas!
Also, Leanne Owen did a ‘dip a day’ in October – she wanted to raised £150, but in the end managed to smash her target and raised £1,285!
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without ‘Blood drop Bob’, so another huge thank you to Carolyn Whittaker for her time and efforts creating more wonderful Christmas Bob creations for us this year.
Thanks to our committed fundraisers means that we can continue to support people affected by leukaemia, ensuring that patients and their loved ones receive the right information, advice and support.