Brian Bennett

After his chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) diagnosis, Brian wanted to give back. He shares his journey from diagnosis to fundraising for important causes like our own.

Why do I fundraise? I do it for both myself and my loved ones. Focusing on fundraising means I can turn my hand to help others who may be going through something similar to what I have experienced. By doing this, I can help raise awareness of leukaemia and the charities raising awareness and making a difference.

In June 2021, I began to feel unwell, but neither my doctor nor I recognised the symptoms for what they were. That was until my second visit months later. 

I wasn’t planning on going for another appointment, but my wife insisted, so of course, I finally caved. I was experiencing tremendous night sweats and pain down my side. My appetite was next to none and I was losing weight, so deep down I was glad my wife nagged me. 

A blood test found my blood count was concerning, but the next words that spilt out of the speakers from my phone came as a shock. “It is likely you have leukaemia,” my GP at the other end of the line said. Thoughts and questions started playing over and over in my mind. Am I going to die? What will my family do without me? Will I ever leave hospital? From that day, my life changed forever.

My CML diagnosis was confirmed, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in a hospital ward. Thankfully, the day of leaving the hospital did in fact come. I was discharged and started treatment, which went well for the first two months, almost bringing me to remission. We hit a few bumps in the road as my white blood count started to fall, resulting in me becoming neutropenic as well as suffering from two infections in early 2022. 

I have tried three different tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), all of which were not compatible. My consultant and I are now looking into a stem cell transplant; a prospect that honestly terrifies me. 

But that’s why I fundraise. To raise awareness of leukaemia, stem cell registers and charities like Leukaemia Care that can offer support. I recently raised £720 with a meal voucher raffle for a local steakhouse, Milehouse Bar and Grill, which they kindly donated. Now, alongside a charity football match I organised, I have raised over £9,200 for Leukaemia Care. 

Leukaemia Care has given me a great platform to meet and speak with others just like me. I have made great friends such as Mark, who has acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). It can feel terribly lonely on this journey and I do have bouts of low mood and anxiety when thinking about my future. But, it is people like Mark who are a source of both inspiration and comfort. 

Life really does change, but it’s about doing those things that you know will make a difference. 

Did you find this webpage helpful?

If the answer is yes, please consider leaving a donation, no matter how big or small, we are incredibly grateful for your support and contribution.

donate

 

 

Information about blood cancer

In this section you will find disease specific information on the main types of blood cancers and allied blood disorders.

Read More