Broadcaster Adrian Chiles and former footballer and blood cancer survivor Geoff Thomas joined patients, nurses, clinicians, fundraisers and major local businessmen in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of The Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.
Blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia helps fund the CCH and has used this milestone as a springboard for its £3million capital fundraising campaign to help establish the Birmingham Institute of Haematology (BIH). This development of the CCH, which will double the capacity for treating blood cancer patients, running world first clinical trials and specialist research nurses required to administer these pioneering trials, was announced earlier this year and Cure Leukaemia is focusing its fundraising on the funding of this project.
President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Head of office at Pinsent Masons Birmingham and Cure Leukaemia Trustee Greg Lowson attended alongside CEO at Warwickshire County Cricket Club Neil Snowball, CEO of The Binding Site Charles de Rohan and MD of Elonex Outdoor Media Adam Stockton.
Blood cancer patients who have and continue to be treated at the CCH were also present to highlight the impact the Centre has had on so many lives since it was opened in May 2006.
60-year-old Judy Ogom, a mother of four from Kings Heath, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in April 2006 and still receives treatment at the CCH.
The community healthcare professional for the NHS said: “I started my treatment at this Centre not knowing whether I would live or die but here I am 10 years on and I am feeling as fit as ever. I am not sure whether I would still be here without this Centre.”
Speaking at the event, Cure Leukaemia Patron Adrian Chiles said: “Cure Leukaemia has a superb business model that sees world first treatments administered to patients through clinical trials that can save lives in the process.
This Centre also puts Birmingham firmly on the map; it is win, win, win all round. It is a pleasure to see how it has gone from strength to strength over the last decade.”
Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas, who opened the CCH with fellow Patron Ashley Giles MBE in 2006 said: “Amazing strides have been made since we opened this Centre and many patients, including myself, have been saved but many have not been so lucky and that’s why we must keep raising vital funds for Cure Leukaemia.
The establishment of the BIH will help save more blood cancer patients and hasten progress towards eradicating this dreadful disease within our lifetime so I urge people to help Cure Leukaemia raise £3million to make this dream a reality.”
Cure Leukaemia Co-Founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE said: “There is every chance that new drug and transplant options will mean that in the next 25 years we will eradicate blood cancers.
Birmingham is now playing a key role in the development of new treatments for blood cancer patients and the planned expansion of the Center for Clinical Haematology which will double its capacity so that we can open more groundbreaking trials, drive more medical advances and transform more lives and this will be of huge benefit to patients from our great region.”
A Just Giving page has been setup by Cure Leukaemia specifically focused on raising the £3million required to establish the Birmingham Institute of Haematology. People wishing to make a donation can do so via the link below:
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017