George Lineker, the son of former England and Spurs striker and BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary, joined fellow leukaemia survivor and former England and Wolves footballer Geoff Thomas for a tour of the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham last week.
George, who suffered with acute myeloid leukaemia when he was a baby, is riding with Geoff Thomas and 300 other cyclists for London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution in June to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia. He was invited to the CCH to see how the money he is helping to raise will be used by the charity.
Cure Leukaemia co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock gave George, Geoff and riders from Cure Leukaemia’s other cycling event this year, Le Tour – One Day Ahead, a guided tour of the CCH and a detailed talk about Cure Leukaemia.
The cyclists’ fundraising efforts will go towards boosting the life-saving work carried out at the CCH, where Professor Craddock treated and saved Geoff Thomas’ life. The £1 million they aim to raise through London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution and Le Tour – One Day Ahead will increase the Centre’s ability to deliver pioneering treatments for blood cancer patients at this international centre of excellence in Birmingham.
How £1 million can save lives
Professor Craddock showed the riders around the CCH’s treatment rooms where they met the specialist research nurses who are instrumental in delivering treatments. They also had the opportunity to see the personal touches such as specially commissioned artwork inspired by blood cancer patients, which helps create a positive environment for patients during treatment.
Professor Craddock reinforced that a cure for all blood cancers can be found in Birmingham within the next 30 years and Geoff, George and the riders are now fully determined to raise funds to hasten this progress.
George, who works for free social music network company Getsung said,
"It has been fantastic to learn more about Cure Leukaemia and the amazing work they are doing here in the Midlands.
As a leukaemia survivor I am delighted that the money we will raise this summer will directly help people battling this terrible disease.
I’m very proud to be on Geoff’s team and cannot wait for the ride in June.”
Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas said,
"It has been an emotional day coming back to the CCH and introducing my fellow riders to Charlie and the nurses. Seeing first hand the impact the £1 million we aim to raise will have has further cemented our commitment to achieving this challenging goal.
I’m delighted George has joined the team for London 2 Paris. Like me, he has had his own experiences with this disease and I’m sure that will spur him on throughout the ride and his fundraising.”
Joining George and Geoff on the London 2 Paris ride are England, Arsenal and Crystal Palace legend Ian Wright and two more former Palace teammates of Geoff’s John Salako and Mark Bright. England under-20 manager Aidy Boothroyd and broadcaster Jill Douglas will also be taking part.
To show your support for George you can donate via: https://www.justgiving.com/George-Lineker/
To support Geoff’s fundraising you can donate via: https://www.justgiving.com/Geoff-Thomas-2015/