As the end of 2014 draws to a close, we look back at what has been yet another phenomenal year at Cure Leukaemia thanks to the hard work of our wonderful fundraisers, partners, patients, Doctors, Nurses, Trustees, Patrons and Cure Leukaemia staff.
We've picked out our top 10 highlights of 2014 and let's hope that 2015 brings many more fantastic memories...
1st February 2014 - Rowing 4 Research complete Atlantic Challenge!
At 10am, on Saturday February 1st, 50 days after setting off from Gran Canaria, two friends from Shropshire arrived safely in to Barbados after rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, completing their Rowing 4 Research challenge.
Harry Martin-Dreyer and Alex Bland left their successful London jobs to take on one of the most physically and mentally draining tests of human endurance to raise money for Cure Leukaemia and JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity.
Their epic journey raised over £209,000 - an incredible achievement!
May 2014 - New Patrons and Trustees appointed
In May this year, Cure Leukaemia were delighted to announce the appointment of three new patrons and three new trustees, welcoming them to play a significant role in helping Cure Leukaemia grow it's reputation in the city and across the UK.
Michelin starred chef Glynn Purnell, Partner and Head of the Birmingham Office of Legal firm Pinsent Masons Greg Lowson and Partner at the Birmingham office of Deloitte Richard Turnbull were all appointed as Trustees.
Whilst intrepid fundraisers Harry Martin-Dreyer and Alex Bland joined ITV Sports presenter Adrian Chiles as Patrons of Cure Leuakemia, following Adrian's 6 weeks in Brazil covering the FIFA World Cup.
16th July 2014 - Club Legends Cup ends in style!
BIRMINGHAM City became the Club Legends Cup champions after clinching the trophy in a dramatic penalty shootout infront of 3,500 spectators at the LG Arena in Birmingham.
Birmingham City captain Darren Purse who was instrumental in organising the first ever Club Legends Cup spoke after the final, “A few of the lads might be a stone or two heavier than their playing days, but they still want to get out there and show what they can do.
The supporters have come along and had a sing song to add to the atmosphere. It would be great if this could do this again to raise money for Cure Leukaemia.”
Keep your eyes peeled in 2015 for the return of the Club Legends Cup!
18th July 2014 - The University Of Birmingham and Cure Leukaemia launch new campaign
The University of Birmingham and Cure Leukaemia combined in July to launch the “Birmingham. Let’s cure leukaemia” campaign which aims to help the city find a cure for blood cancer in the next 30 years.
The aim by 2024 is to double the number of patients treated, double the capacity for clinical trials on offer, whilst looking to potentially leverage in excess of £100 million of free drugs for patients battling blood cancer. This will consolidate the Centre’s position as a world-leading centre for the treatment of blood cancer.
To help towards this aim, the University of Birmingham joined Cure Leukaemia in their quest to recruit runners for the BUPA Great Birmingham Run on Sunday October 19th - staff, alumni and students all joined together in running for 'Team Cure Leukaemia'.
4th August 2014 - Elonex become charity partner
Outdoor Media specialist Elonex announced in August that it is to donate premium advertising airtime to support Cure Leukaemia. The advertising helped kick-start the ‘Birmingham, let’s cure leukaemia’ campaign, which aims to help the second city find a cure for all blood cancers within 30 years.
Elonex Outdoor Media broadcast several campaign messages on its network of outdoor digital screens; Leukaemia patient Brooke Evans, Geoff Thomas' London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution, Glynn Purnell's Friday Night Kitchen and the BUPA Great Birmingham Run all featured on the boards between August - December and we are looking forward to another exciting year ahead with Elonex!
The large format LED roadside screens combined, deliver in excess of 31 million audience advert impacts every fortnight.
1st October 2014 - Geoff Thomas to revisit ‘the Tour’ Ten Years On
Ten years after going into remission from leukaemia, former England footballer Geoff Thomas announced that he will hold two major cycling events in 2015 to support the work of Cure Leukaemia and Professor Charlie Craddock in Birmingham.
In 2003 Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was given less than three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, including a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005.
Geoff now aims to raise £2million in two years by holding two unique cycling events for an exlsuive number of participants. In June 2015 Geoff will lead a closed group of 300 cyclists on a four-day, 500 kilometre cycling challenge: ‘London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution’.
And, along with a closed group of only twenty participants, his second major cycling event will revisit the challenge of cycling all twenty-one stages of the Tour de France; this time, just one day ahead of Le Tour 2015.
January - December 2014 - Patients show their support to Cure Leukaemia
Throughout the year, current and former patients have shown their desire to support Cure Leukaemia and the team of Doctors and Nurses at the Centre for Clinical Haematology.
In March, Katherine Sinfield and her husband Stephen braved the weather conditions to take part in the BONE-shaker MARROW-thon, which saw more than 100 bikers ride from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital - raising over £2,000!
In September, 18-year-old Brooke Evans raced a Cure Leukaemia branded Porsche 944 S2 for the very first time in her 'Sprint for life' - raising over £5,000!
Also in September, during blood cancer awareness month, 50 members of West Midlands Fire Service ran for 50 consecutive hours on a human hamster wheel in full fire-fighting kit in Brindleyplace - raising over £5,000!
And finally, in October, 20-year-old Fiona Codd from Sutton Coldfield held a fundraising evening at New Oscott Social Club - raising more than £5,000!
19th October 2014 - Well Done to Team Cure Leukaemia
On Sunday 19th October we said a HUGE well done to all of those runners who took part in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run in support of Cure Leukaemia and the University of Birmingham!
20,000 runners pounded the streets of Birmingham in the glorious sunshine with around 400 of those running in red for Cure Leukaemia. As well as those running, thousands of spectators lined the streets of Birmingham, showing their support to the runners who took in iconic sights such as Cadbury's in Bourneville and Edgbaston Cricket Ground!
Team Cure Leukaemia were based at our Headquarters at Walkabout on Broad Street who provided an exclusive venue for all runners and their family and friends to drop off their luggage and belongings pre-race. After the 13.1 mile course, many of the runners returned to Walkabout where we celebrated long in to the afternoon after some fantastic achievements.
31st October 2014 - Glynn Inspires a Friday night to remember
Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell cooked up a treat for 350 guests as he helped Cure Leukaemia award their finest fundraisers from the past year in a hugely successful evening.
The 'Yummy Brummie', as the city-based chef is known, took to the stage to prepare and serve a sumptuous gourmet meal with sporting stars Darren Purse, Matt Murray, Lee Hendrie and Dougie Brown which was then served to his audience during a night of fun and laughter at Aston Villa Football Club.
Glynn's Friday Night Kitchen saw Glynn prepare a 3-course meal based on recipes from his latest book, following the model of the popular BBC 1 cooking show 'Saturday Kitchen' as his eager audience looked on. The food was simultaneously cooked backstage by staff at Villa's VMF restaurant, under the guidance of Villa's Executive Chef Peter Reed, and then served to a packed out Holte Suite.
15th December 2014 - Cure Leukaemia wins the hearts of the Brindleyplace community
Following a nail-biting public vote, Brindleyplace announced Cure Leukaemia as their new charity partner for the coveted, annual Dragonboat Festival in 2015 and 2016 - with the charity set to benefit from over £100,000 in fundraising over the next two years.
With the help of festival sponsor, Deutsche Bank, Brindleyplace had the difficult task of shortlisting 19 charities down to just three and for their last challenge in the shortlisting process, the three successful charities; Heart Research UK, Cure Leukaemia and WellChild, were invited to attend the Brindleyplace Christmas Party on Friday 12th December to vie for the votes of staff and visitors who would determine which charity was awarded 1st place and subsequently all the fundraising from the festival.
And thanks to all of those who came down to support on the day, it was Cure Leukaemia who won the hearts of the Brindleyplace community and took the prestigious top spot.
Everyone at Cure Leukaemia would like to thank all those who have given their time and fundraising efforts to the charity throughout the year - we value each and every one of those who support us as we aim to help the city find a cure for blood cancer in the next 30 years.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year!