Since Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia in July, blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia has been working closely with Wolves to raise awareness and vital funds in support of their number one.
The charity will have a major presence at a sold out Molineux this Saturday when Middlesbrough travel south to kick off the new season. The recent leukaemia diagnosis of Boro’s academy player Anthony Renton has given the charity’s presence added importance on the day.
Much of the fundraising activity will be focused around the stadium and the match itself however fans from the across the world will have the opportunity to show their support by making a donation with a difference.
Cure Leukaemia has designed a commemorative shirt with names included in the design and football fans will be encouraged to donate their names to not only raise funds and awareness for the disease but also to support Carl.
It costs £20 to ‘Donate Your Name’ and the first 1000 names will be included in the design and each donor will also receive their own limited edition shirt.
The only way to ‘Donate Your Name’ is via www.donateyourname.co.uk and UK taxpayers are encouraged to claim gift aid on their donation to ensure the charity can claim an additional 25% for each donation.
Cure Leukaemia launched this successful fundraising initiative in the summer of 2016 when the entire Wolverhampton Wanderers squad, including Carl, donated their name in support of the charity.
This year’s shirt is to support the Nigerian International who is determined to not only beat the disease but also raise awareness of blood cancer. All of the money raised by Wolves fans will go towards Cure Leukaemia’s vital work, including the expansion of the Centre for Clinical Haemotology in Birmingham to continue to lead the global fight against all forms of blood cancer.
“I want to thank the whole football world and especially the Wolves fans for the love and support I have received since I was diagnosed with leukaemia. It has been a huge shock for myself and my family but I am determined to beat this and I know that the support everyone has shown me will help me do just that.
“I’d also like to thank Cure Leukaemia for their support and I think the ‘Donate Your Name’ idea will be a great way to raise funds and awareness for this disease.
“As a man of Nigerian descent I am also passionate about urging people from ethnic minority backgrounds to join the stem cell transplantation register.
“More awareness is needed of the shortage of ethnic minority donors currently on the register and I am keen to make an impact to change that.
“But I also think we need more donors from all backgrounds to come forward as I am learning more and more how vitally important it is for when someone needs a transplant.
“I am already planning ways to try and raise awareness and to focus more activity around encouraging donors from all backgrounds to come forward at a Wolves fixture in the near future."
More details on the awareness activity at a future fixture will be announced over the coming weeks. For more information about becoming a donor click HERE.
Cure Leukaemia Patron, blood cancer survivor and former Wolves midfielder Geoff Thomas has been in contact with Carl to offer his advice and support through such a difficult time.
“I was riding the Tour de France to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia when I heard the news about Carl. I’d had a bad day on the bike and I wasn’t in a great place mentally.
When I heard about Carl it was like a slap across the face because all of the memories of my diagnosis in 2003 came flooding back. It is a battle but I am sure Carl will have the mental and physical strength to beat this disease.”
“It is great to see how the club and all of the fans have rallied in support of Carl. Every penny raised will go towards Cure Leukaemia’s £1m appeal to fund the expansion of the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
This Centre is leading the global fight against this disease and it will not only directly save more lives but it will also hasten progress towards eradicating this terrible disease within 25 years.”
Click HERE go make a donation to Carl's JustGiving page
To make a donation using your phone text CARL01 £1 to 70070
Huge thanks to our charity partner Elonex Outdoor Media for their support for the #TeamKemes campiagn
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017