‘I ran today because Cure Leukaemia is a wonderful charity and a great cause for a friend of mine called Andy Payne from Kings Heath Cricket Club who has blood cancer, I wish him all the best.’
These were the words of 49-year-old James Gittins from Bournville on the finish line of the Great Birmingham Run 2015 and they perfectly represent why 20,000 people take to the streets of the Second City every year to run 13.1 miles for great causes.
James, a key account manager for Legal and General in Birmingham, was inspired to run to support 54-year-old freelance cameraman and father of three Andy Payne, from Hollywood in Birmingham, who is currently battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. When James’ message from the finish line was relayed to Andy the raw emotion it provoked was clear to see.
Left to right: Dr Sandeep Nagra, Andy Payne, Prof Charlie Craddock CBE, Ian Bell MBE, Andrew Robinson and Cure Leukaemia nurse Donna Walsh.
Andy is a big cricket fan and he met players and staff from Warwickshire County Cricket club earlier in the year and moved them all with his story.
Director of Cricket and Cure Leukaemia Patron Dougie Brown said:
“Hearing the stories of people like Andy makes you realise the amazing work Cure Leukaemia supports."
"I hope people take inspiration from his story and sign up to run for Cure Leukaemia later this year.”
Blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia is urging the whole Midlands region to run for a reason and ‘be inspired’ by people like Andy and sign up for the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 16th October 2016. The charity’s aim is to have 1000 runners pounding the streets of the Second City later this year to raise £250,000 to go towards the £3million expansion of the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to establish the Birmingham Institute for Haematology.
This development will double the capacity of the Centre and directly benefit more patients like Andy by allowing more specialist research nurses, more world first clinical trials and improved facilities for people battling blood cancer.
Central to Cure Leukaemia’s campaign is an inspiring video (watch at the top of this story) that features the raw emotion of runners speaking on the finish line of the Great Birmingham Run. Throughout the video the underlying theme is people taking on the challenge because friends, relatives or colleagues affected by blood cancer, have inspired them.
Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin said: “We have had hundreds of people run for Cure Leukaemia in the Great Birmingham Run in recent years and more often than not, they are running for a reason.
Whether they have been inspired by someone close to them battling the disease or have been touched by a story they have seen in the press they put their bodies on the line to help others. We are calling on the region to draw inspiration from patients like Andy and help raise the funds to establish the Birmingham Institute of Haematology.”
“This development will transform treatment options for patients who have exhausted standard care for this terrible disease and accelerate progress towards finding cures for all forms of blood cancer within our lifetime, a truly inspirational goal.”
With support from charity partners Elonex the campaign will be visible across the region on their extensive network of LED advertising screens. Cure Leukaemia offer all their runners FREE entry to the race and ask for a minimum of £299 in fundraising, that’s £23 per mile! To sign up and run for Cure Leukaemia in the Great Birmingham Run 2016 email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017