A former Cure Leukaemia patient and one of the charity’s leading supporters have joined forces for a new fundraising initiative focusing on poetry and crafts.

Jess Hempshall has been fundraising for Cure Leukaemia since making a donation of her hair back in 2016, and last year famously produced a Vlog every day of the year highlighting the charity’s supporters and their efforts.

She has now linked up with the courageous Lizzie Dean, who has endured a gruelling period of treatment, including a stem cell transplant and world-first clinical trial, since being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2014.

“Lizzie and I have always talked a lot on Twitter – mainly about cake – and I met her at the CL Champions awards in 2017 and then again last December,” says Jess.

“We’re in touch all the time and she inspires me so much.

“The idea of us teaming up this year came about when I tweeted my plans to do a creative fundraiser, and Lizzie sent me some photos of some crafts she had created and said she would love to help.

“I’m very happy and excited to have a CL patient on board, because Lizzie obviously knows first-hand how the funds raised can benefit patients and save lives.”

So what then have the duo got planned to raise money for Cure Leukaemia?

Poetry and crafts, with Jess’s Grandad the inspiration behind her background and desire to create prose.

“I have a life-long love of writing, especially poetry, and wrote with my Grandad a lot when I was younger,” she explains.

“He was the person who encouraged me to write and I wrote my first poem 16 years ago, at the age of six.

“I included poetry in the All You Need is Blood book I did for Cure Leukaemia a couple of years ago, and I won two international poetry awards in 2017, which mean the world to me.

“After the ‘Vlog A Day’ challenge I said I was going to have a bit of a rest but within a couple of weeks I decided I couldn’t not be doing anything for Cure Leukaemia, and chose poetry in memory of my Grandad, who passed away ten years ago.”

Those who would like to contribute to the fundraising can visit HERE and leave a donation, and then direct message Jess on Twitter @jesshempshall with the subject for their poem. A £10 donation secures a poem sent via Private Message on Facebook or £15 for a word document via email.

In the near future, craft items will then be available to purchase, including knitted and crocheted items designed and produced by Lizzie.

“Obviously I am always there to help Cure Leukaemia if I can, and this idea suited me perfectly,” says Lizzie, who is currently being monitored in treatment-free remission having undergone her last chemotherapy before Christmas.

“I’ve always loved crafts of any kind and I was able to do a lot during my treatment during the times when I wasn’t well enough to go out or do any work.

“I would still get bored being at home, and sewing was the perfect activity.

“I’d even already made myself an ‘I❤️CL’ keyring, and when I saw Jess’s message, I offered to help and make a few more things, which will include more keyrings and some cute crocheted red blood cells!”