Cure Leukaemia Ambassador and England & Nottinghamshire Fast Bowler Josh Tongue recently visited the charity’s Nottingham TAP Centre at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust to offer his support to the team and take a look around the excellent facilities on offer to blood cancer patients in the region, whilst lending support to the team taking on the 2024 Paris Marathon this weekend.

Josh became an Ambassador of the charity in September 2023 and has shown a keen interest in the charity’s work following his move to Nottinghamshire Cricket last year. Consultant Haematologist Professor Chris Fox was on hand to provide the England star with a guided tour of the facility and offer an insight into the exciting work that was currently taking place across the hospital.

Professor Fox was full of admiration for Josh and grateful for his continued support of the charity.

“It was really great that Josh could take the time to come and visit us here at Nottingham University Hospital. Josh has a stellar reputation as one of England’s brightest young stars and he has taken a really close interest in hearing more about the treatment of blood cancer patients here at the hospital. We spoke a lot about the clinical trials taking place across the centre and he was very interested to hear about the latest advances being made across the sector.”

For Josh, it was a visit that he was keen to complete as soon as he became an Ambassador of the charity and hear about the lifesaving work taking place in his local area:

“We have been planning this visit now for a number of months, and I am so glad that I have had the chance to speak with Professor Fox and his inspiring team at the hospital. For me, now living in the local area, I thought it was vital that I understood some of the groundbreaking work taking place on my doorstep.” 

“I think it is amazing the progress being made and I just want to try and help out as much as possible as an Ambassador of this incredible charity – and I am just in awe of the team taking part in the Paris Marathon this weekend, especially juggling training alongside such a busy full-time role.”

A number of members of staff from the hospital will be taking to the streets of Paris this weekend to tackle the Paris Marathon in what will be the charity’s debut appearance in the French capital.

Amongst those will be Haematology Research Nurse Abi Sutcliffe, who works as part of an experienced team who work with patients taking part in blood cancer clinical trials, and Consultant Haematologist Mark Bishton who will be running alongside his wife.

Abi commented: “I’m responsible for coordinating the day to day running of several trials at our hospital – making sure that we carry out each trial according to the study’s protocol – by planning patient visits, organising scans and tests at the right time, giving chemotherapy, and ensuring high quality data collection.”

“But the best part of the job is taking care of our patients – being a primary point of contact for research patients, supporting them and getting to know them over the course of their treatment and follow-up.”

Abi will be taking part in her first ever marathon and will be ticking it off her bucket list in April and joining over 50 Cure Leukaemia runners at the event as she is cheered on by family and friends joining her in the city, whereas Mark will be completing the Marathon for a second time but he is looking forward to the opportunity to run alongside his wife.

Mark said: “I completed the marathon when I was 23, and I am now 46 so there is a nice symmetry to it I suppose. Cure Leukaemia is a great charity and one that we have worked very closely with for the past few years. They have provided us with funding to appoint an additional member of staff to our team.” 

“Some of the trials that the Trial Acceleration Programme (TAP) Network have been innovative and allowed us to provide cutting edge medicines to our patients and we have seen huge benefits to each of our patients off the back of each of these trials, so it is a great charity and one that is a pleasure to raise money for.”