Anthony Nolan is working with the Blood Cancer Alliance this September to “Make Blood Cancer Visible” this Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
This year the campaign calls for governments in the UK to give blood cancer the priority and recognition it deserves, starting with clear long-term commitments in their next cancer plans.
A touring exhibition of statues shine the spotlight on patient stories, including that of Peter McCleave, a 40-year-old husband and father of two.
Peter was told that he needed a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed with Myeloma. There is no match for Peter on the worldwide stem cell registry and he is lending his voice to the campaign to help raise awareness.
He says: 'For me the 48 hours after the diagnosis were definitely the darkest, hardest moments. Blood cancers are the least spoken about cancers but they are becoming more known.
'I’m supporting the campaign because I need someone who is a genetic match to donate some of his or her stem cells, which can be transplanted into my blood – but there is no match for me. I’ve always been someone who if I want to do something, I’ll train for it, I’ll learn it, I’ll work for it. This I can’t train my way out of.
'I sometimes think that it’s harder for my family than it is for me because the thought of one of my kids telling me they had Myeloma and needed a stem cell transplant but there was no match – that would be the worst thing.
'Please show your support and help make blood cancer visible. I’m hoping that by sharing my story I can raise awareness and inspire potential donors to join the stem cell register.'
Simon Butler, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, at Anthony Nolan says: 'As the UK’s stem cell transplant charity we know how important it is that blood cancer is not overlooked.
'The Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges faced by patients and families like Peter’s – but also to let people know that they can take action by helping to recruit more potential lifesavers to the stem cell donor register.'
The Make Blood Cancer Visible exhibition will visit four UK cities in September:
LONDON – 2 - 8 September. Westfield, Stratford.
CARDIFF – 9 -15 September. Working Street, Cardiff.
MANCHESTER – 16 - 22 September. Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.
EDINBURGH – 23 – 29 September. Waverley Mall, Edinburgh.