It's always someone else… until it's you.
My name is Jenna Ostrowski. I am a 33-year-old Corporate Solicitor from Birmingham. Until my recent holt, life has been pretty fast paced and hectic, although very happy with my amazing partner and ultimate teammate, Matt.
Many of you will be able to relate to my lifestyle, working hard and playing hard, spending my weekends with my loving partner and friends and counting down the days until my next holiday or friend’s wedding or group get-together.
Last year, Cure Leukaemia’s CEO James McLaughlin visited our offices to tell us about the charity after my company raised funds earlier in the year.
I lost my uncle to blood cancer so I was keen to hear more. I wasn’t aware at the time but I actually had blood cancer at that point.
On Friday 7th July 2017, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. My life and that of my family and friends has since been turned upside down. I am no stranger to adversity and have always overcome it in the past, this is no exception. I’m determined to fight this hideous disease and win.
For a person who used to enjoy a busy and active life, it is incredibly difficult to experience side effects from chemotherapy which restrict what I can do, and to see my fitness levels take a significant nose dive. But despite this, I try to get out and walk every day and do gentle exercises in hospital and at home in the hope that I’ll regain my fitness. It’s vital for me so that I can crack on with more fundraising for Cure Leukaemia. To date, we’ve raised over £11,000 through my fundraising page.
As I write in January 2018, I am due to return to hospital for, hopefully, my final round of chemotherapy. I will also receive consultation and treatment at the globally significant Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham which has now reopened after a £3.4m expansion which was possible thanks to Cure Leukaemia raising an additional £1m in 2017. This improved facility will benefit thousands of patients like myself through pioneering clinical trials and vastly improved patient experience.
Cure Leukaemia is a very special charity and when I have beaten this disease they will have a fundraiser for life.
Jenna sent her latest update from her hospital bed in early February:
How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives