Mick Smith

Michael was 47 years old when he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocyte leukaemia (CLL). Now 62, he has been shielding since February 2019 and plans to spend Christmas alone again this year.

I have been shielding since February 2019 as I was hospitalized 5 times between February and May of 2019.

Shielding is tougher than those who don’t have to think about it. During the first lockdown, most of my social groups had Zoom meetings where we got together at least once a month. Now that things have returned to some degree of normality, those meetings have stopped as everyone involved now meets physically. My wife is a scientist and works full time so I am alone all day. Christmas time prior to Covid was always a family Christmas eve and then a meal together with up to 18 people on Christmas day. Last Christmas day, I was unwell and my wife went to her sisters for dinner. It’s not fair for her to suffer because of my problems. So Christmas this year will be lonely again. The best I can do is take and fetch my wife to her Christmas Party.

Explaining to others why I am still shielding is always difficult because on the outside I mainly look well. They see my walking disability. However, I look well, therefore, I am well.

You also have those people who literally don’t believe in Covid-19 so they don’t care if they cough and sneeze on you. It doesn’t matter what is said they just do what they wish, without thought for others. I totally believe if I get Covid I won’t come out the other side. It was confirmed that after the first vaccine I did not get antibodies and earlier this year I have had two pneumonia vaccines and neither has been effective. I am on active chemotherapy and was advised that the vaccines were unlikely to work but to have them just in case so I did. But I accept that my shielding is for my safety and not others.

My only contact has been through Leukaemia Care’s Buddy Support Service as a CLL Buddy assisting newly diagnosed CLL patients. Leukaemia Care’s services like the Buddy scheme are vital for leukaemia patients, especially in times like these, providing much information to sufferers of blood disorders.

Spare a thought for Michael and other leukaemia patients who are feeling #LonelyWithLeukaemia this Christmas by donating today.



Advice and support for patients as well as how you can help those #LonelyWithLeukaemia over the festive period.

Christmas support