Candid With Cancer #8 – My Second Cancer Diagnosis
Thomas Ashley details his battle against AML as part of a new weekly blog
Led by ex-footballer and CL Patron, Geoff Thomas, football clubs and players across the country have united and kindly donated a variety of signed shirts, many of which have been worn during matches, making them an unrivalled piece of football fan memorabilia! The shirts will be collectively placed on auction, with fans able to place their bids on the shirt(s) of their choice.
Following a highly successful football career, captaining Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup Final and achieving nine international caps for the England national team, Geoff was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). After recovering from the blood disease, Geoff embarked on a mission to raise funds for the charity that helped save his life, Cure Leukaemia.
In the previous 15 years, Geoff Thomas has raised over two million pounds for the charity, equating to more than 300 million pounds worth of life-saving drugs. He will taking on the challenge of completing the entire Tour de France route in 21 days for the sixth time this year. Amongst other innovative and challenging campaigns, Geoff has united the football community more than once for this honorable cause.
With the right infrastructure and sufficient funding, it is thought that all forms of blood cancers could be eradicated within the next 15 to 20 years. This is the ultimate goal of Cure Leukaemia, to develop and provide lifesaving treatments and technologies for blood cancer, helping to put an end to the disease that sees a patient diagnosed with a form of blood cancer every 14 minutes.
In this new initiative, Geoff has reached out to his footballing community asking them to donate shirts and support this initiative. Not only have individual players and ex-players responded to the call, but plenty of Premier League, EFL and SPFL clubs have also kindly donated their match shirts from a game of their choice .
Speaking on this new partnership with Cure Leukaemia, co-founder of MatchWornShirt, Tijmen Zonderwijk said “We are delighted to launch this new annual fundraising campaign and hope to grow this event year on year, with Cure Leukaemia and the fans being the main beneficiaries. It has been a pleasure to work with Geoff and all others involved and are sure that together, we will make great things happen.”
Speak about the campaign, Geoff Thomas said “We’ve got some grand ideas of having football fight blood cancer and this is the start. This idea of getting match-worn kit and raising money in this way is a fantastic opportunity. We raised a hefty chunk last year and we want to build on that.”
Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin commented “Our sincere thanks go out to the team at MatchWornShirt and all of the generous clubs across the UK who have donated their shirts. We are so grateful to all of the players and staff that have donated their shirts from across the UK and of course, the fans for taking part to raise funds.”
“Unfortunately there is an increasing number of the football community who are being affected by a form of blood cancer, but all funds raised across the campaign will be directly invested in lifesaving trials that are helping to save the lives of blood cancer patients across the UK.”