An Unexpected Challenge – Delete Blood Cancer UK

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When I wrote my post about registering to give blood, it instantly went out on Twitter. A fellow tweeter, @Curlyman66, contacted me to let me know that I could also register to become a Stem Cell donor. He directed me to a website, Delete Blood Cancer UK, whose key mission is to provide a suitable donor for every person in need of a blood stem cell donation. Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. Blood stem cells from a matching donor could cure them and save their lives. The charity work towards achieving their mission by raising awareness and empowering people to register as potential blood stem cell donors, and to join the campaign by taking action in their communities, schools, and companies; working with volunteers and organisations throughout the UK to inspire and register more people.

They are part of DKMS (The Foundation for Donating Life), a global family of organizations that started in Germany in 1991 around one family’s search for a donor. Dr. Peter Harf and Prof. Gerhard Ehninger founded DKMS in honour of Harf’s wife Mechtild, who had sadly lost her battle with blood cancer. The worldwide search for donors still goes on today for every single person in need of a lifesaving blood stem cell donation. DKMS has grown to become the world’s largest stem cell donor centre. An impressive 40,000 people have made a blood stem cell donation since 1991. Today over 4 million potential donors have registered and over 40,000 stem cell donations have taken place, to give all these people a second chance of life.

When I went into the website the registration process took just minutes. A donor ‘DIY Swab Kit’ is winging its way towards me, requiring me to simply swab my mouth and return the sample to their centre. Once they have my sample they have the opportunity to match me with any person who requires a stem cell donor – now, or in the future. Curlyman’s son has recently had a stem cell transplant and is making good progress – I’m so glad he contacted me to let me know that I can help…that all of us can help. My next plan is to contact the Anthony Nolan Trust and ask them to come and talk to my students at the UTC. There are so many of us who could potentially help to save the lives of others. Life is too precious to let opportunities to help others pass by. Curlyman, I hope your son continues to make great progress and returns to full health. Fingers and toes crossed. I’ll keep spreading thee word.

Giving Blood

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One of my forty challenges is to give blood, something I have been meaning to do for a long time. I was very ill and hospitalised a number of years ago and had a lot of blood taken at that time – well, it felt like a lot of blood! I became very nervous of needles as they were placed in numerous parts of my body to try and draw out blood. I learnt that the nurses were great at finding veins and the doctors were terrible…I remember refusing to let one doctor take blood as he had ‘hurt’ me the previous time!

Ten years later, I feel like now is the time to get over that fear and give blood for the first time. So many people survive accidents and illnesses each year due to the generosity of blood donors. Now is my time to join the donor crew. I went online tonight and realised that it is really simple to register as a donor. The website:

https://my.blood.co.uk/Home/Landing

is really easy to navigate and within ten minutes I was registered and signed up to give blood. I’ll be at County Hospital in Lincoln on 19th April 2015 at 12:30! Wish me luck!

Planning time

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The Clay Pigeon shooting lesson has been booked for February. I’ll be heading over to Cockett Farm Shooting Ground, which is located west of Newark, Nottinghamshire. They have two highly qualified instructors, one of whom is tasked with the challenge of teaching me. With twenty five clays included in the lesson, I’m hoping I might manage to hit one of them?!

Spreading the word…

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What a fabulous start to 2015! Nicola Gilroy invited me on to her show on BBC Radio Lincolnshire this morning and we sat and nattered about my forty challenges. I’m hoping it might help to generate a few sponsors, I have a lot of money to raise for charity!