Our 18th Birthday Poem

21st March 2021


CL Champion Jess Hempshall has penned this lovely poem to mark World Poetry Day 2021 celebrating Cure Leukaemia's 18th Birthday year. She also took time to record a video of her reading it, thank you Jess!

 

Cure Leukaemia's 18th Birthday Poem

Throughout your eighteen years you have achieved so much,
You've gained hundreds of supporters who all now keep in touch 
- and there are no words to describe how proud we all are, of you,
I'm sure the rest of the #CLFamily will agree with me, too.
Now, let's go right back to where it all began, in 2003,
When you were established and became a charity.
The Centre for Clinical Haematology was built in 2006, down on Mindelsohn Way,
Where I've been lucky enough to visit myself - a couple of years ago, in May.
So many challenges have been completed over the years; people have given their hearts and souls,
To ensure that you have the funds needed to achieve your goals.
It never ceases to amaze me; all of the things that people do,
So I thought that now would be the perfect time to reminisce about a few:
There's been bake sales and bag-packing, and fundraisers galore,
Where we've all set targets but have raised so much more.
Bike rides from London to Paris, in the UK, Italy and Spain,
Which have involved lots of tough training on very rough terrain.
The Copa Del CL football tournament, 'Tour of the TAP', marathons and walks
- but what about the people, like me, who aren't much good at sport?
Well, there's been hair donations and beard shaves, and unique endeavours,
The 'Boredom Bangers' playlist, and homemade gifts for people to treasure. 
There's been books full of recipes, of all different kinds
and one that was written by me, with patients in mind.
There's a years' worth of vlogs on YouTube which were a pleasure to record,
I loved sharing your stories and cheering you up when you were bored. 
You recruited 'special agents' for your Mission Possible tasks,
Who faced their fear of heights to abseil, and all you had to do was ask.
Not forgetting the 'Donate Your Name' campaign, for t-shirts and the #CLFamily wall
and that time I climbed a lighthouse which is 151ft tall!
I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself so I've also sang a few raps
and as I've said a thousand times I'm really sorry about that!
But all of these things have made us lifesavers, and we now have our own club,
All you need to do to be a member is raise £100, or above.
There was also a two-year partnership with Deutsche Bank, which is when things really took off,
The hospital expansion soon followed, and I proudly watched on, from Wath.
And to celebrate all that has been achieved, we take the time to remember,
When the CL Champions Awards are held annually, each December.
It's clear for all to see that there's already so much hard work you have done,
But with more events in the pipeline it seems that there's even more to come.
It's this journey, so far, which has led to you funding twelve centres across the UK,
You're now a thriving national charity, and the first UK Tour de France charity partner - yay!
I hope you've all enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane,
Cure Leukaemia are such a special charity, and I hope you will now feel the same.
So, this poem is a special gift from me because I wanted to say
congratulations to them - happy 18th birthday.
 

By Jess Hempshall

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"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell
"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell