Clinical Trial Gives Retired Teacher New Lease of Life
A retired primary school teacher with a matter of months to live is now enjoying life thanks to a new blood cancer drug
A Consultant Haematologist, who has seen at first hand the incredible impact made by Cure Leukaemia, is getting back on his bike, as well as donning his running shoes, to support the charity during 2019.
Dr Guy Pratt is based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which recently celebrated a year since re-opening with improved facilities thanks to a £3.4million investment by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) (£2.4m) and Cure Leukaemia (£1m).
The expansion has doubled the Centre’s capacity in terms of the number of patient treatments, as well as substantially reducing waiting times and opening up ten new clinical trials.
Guy is now taking part in both the Velo Birmingham & Midlands cycle ride on May 12th (which aptly falls on International Nurses Day), and the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run, on October 13th.
“As a trustee of Cure Leukaemia, I feel passionate about improving outcomes for patients with blood cancers,” says Guy, who specialises in the treatment of leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma.
“Funds raised by the charity are helping to save lives and contributing to the global progress being made towards eradicating the disease.
“Thanks to my work, I have been able to see at first-hand how Cure Leukaemia fundraising has played its part in transforming the Centre.
“There is the capacity now to treat more patients, and to treat them on time, as well as increasing the number of research teams on site.
“The whole environment has been improved, which is so much better for the patients when they visit for their treatments.”
Guy has fundraised for Cure Leukaemia previously and is all set for another activity-filled year as he takes part in the two popular challenges.
He will be joined by Stephen Harding, a regular training partner, who is Research & Development Director at The Binding Site, one of Cure Leukaemia’s longstanding charity partners.
“I did the first Velo Birmingham back in 2017, and have also done a marathon and other events previously,” says Guy.
“As a Trustee I have always been keen to try and fundraise for Cure Leukaemia when I can, because it is so important to support patients with blood cancer and all of the research going into the treatment of the disease.
“I’m really looking forward to both events, as although I completed the last Velo, I probably wasn’t completely prepared for it!
“It was a bit of a struggle, but I have been cycling to work ever since which will hopefully help me this time around.
“Running is something I am more accustomed to, although now I am getting on in years doing the half marathon will be still be tough enough!’
Dr Masood Ahmed (above centre), Senior Advisor at Digital Health London, is one of those patients who has been treated by Guy at the CCH.
“I first met Guy as a 44-year- old who had just been diagnosed with cancer.
“Even though I am a doctor myself, I didn’t really know what to expect of the difficult journey that lay ahead.
“I remember our first meeting, and Guy immediately made me feel safe.
“He has a unique ability to listen and explore the options with you – you know you are in safe hands and he’s never flustered.
“Above all, his commitment to his patients is unequalled.
“He doesn’t just practice haematology, he lives and breathes it, and I’m not surprised by his continued efforts to raise money, awareness and improve care through Cure Leukaemia.”
A team of six women from Oxfordshire will be taking on Cure Leukaemia’s London 2 Paris cycle ride next June, to raise vital funds for the charity.