Coinciding with the start of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, former Wolves, Crystal Palace and England midfielder Geoff Thomas is ‘coming home’ to help charity Cure Leukaemia raise £2 million in two years and significantly boost its efforts to help find a cure for the disease within 30 years. Geoff will announce his plans for 2015 on Thursday October 2nd. If you are interested and would like to be kept informed please email Geoff@cureleukaemia.co.uk.
In 2003, Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and given less than three years to live. He was treated by Cure Leukaemia’s co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock and, after a bone-marrow transplant from his sister Kay, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005.
Since then, Geoff has worked tirelessly to raise money for treatment, research and awareness for blood cancer and the Patron of Cure Leukaemia is now coming back with a more hands-on role within the charity to help raise funds for the doctors and nurses who helped save his life.
Geoff’s aim is to raise £2million in two years and plans for how this will be achieved are to be announced in the coming weeks. The money raised by Geoff will allow Professor Charlie Craddock and the clinical teams based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and across the West Midlands to continue to drive forward the development and delivery of new drugs and transplants for patients with blood cancer.
Birmingham‘s many strengths in biomedical research give it unique opportunity to work towards the identification of cures for the whole range of blood cancers within the next 30 years and Geoff’s fundraising will be essential in order to ensure patients access these new and potentially life-saving therapies as rapidly as possible.
Fifteen years ago curative options were available for only 15% of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Since then there has been remarkable progress in the development of new treatment options and now the great majority of patients with this form of blood cancer have access to effective treatments. The challenge for the future decades is to ensure similar remarkable progress is made in a whole range of other blood cancers for which effective curative therapies are lacking.
Speaking about his support for Cure Leukaemia, Geoff said,
“I owe my life to Charlie and his team and I have always been honoured to be a Patron of this great charity. Now I want to get more involved and help to raise funds that I know will make a direct impact on the treatment of people who are in the same position as I was a decade ago.”
“Birmingham is in a special position to find a cure for this terrible disease and I know that with sufficient funding Charlie and his team can make that a reality. Which is why I am helping to raise awareness and funds for Cure Leukaemia.
The advances that have been made in the ten years since I was diagnosed are staggering and I want to help continue that progress by returning home to Cure Leukaemia by working towards raising £2million over the next two years.”
Cure Leukaemia co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock said,
“Geoff has been an inspiration to both patients and clinicians ever since his transplant ten years ago through his selfless work to increase treatment options for blood cancer patients. It is a huge privilege to be working with him again to maximise curative options for patients from across the whole of the West Midlands.
The time is now for curing blood cancer.
We know from experience that large numbers of patients are responding to these new treatments so this is the time to invest in clinical trial teams.”