Blood Cancer Awareness Month
PUBLISHED: 11:46 01 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:46 01 September 2015
Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is told they have a blood cancer, About 10,000 people a year die of a blood cancer, Blood cancers and blood disorders can affect people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and local charity, Exeter Leukaemia Fund would like you to find out more and get involved in supporting those living with blood cancers in Devon.
Sara Wilton was diagnosed with leukaemia five years ago. A day after seeing her doctor about tiredness she was called into the Yarty Ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and told she had leukaemia.
The cancer was so advanced that Sara was immediately put into an isolation room for treatment;
“After the initial shock of the news of leukaemia you start to get used to the fact of your diagnosis and then you face long days and long nights on your own in isolation. All the staff on the ward are amazing and do everything they can to make you comfortable and to chat to you and to make it as homely as they can. ”
ELF aims to lighten the load for families affected by blood cancers and blood disorders here in Devon. This year, ELF launched The Chevithorne Appeal which will fund a family suite for end of life or critically ill patients and their loved ones to be together in dignity and privacy. Sara, whose partner Chris worked over 100 miles away, told us what such a suite would have meant to her;
“If Chris had had somewhere to stay near me it would have been absolutely amazing. I would feel better knowing that he was getting a good night’s sleep and even during the day there would have been somewhere for him to go just for five minutes break. It would have been perfect.”
“Having a family room would have made such a difference to us. There are so many people it would make a difference to now. I was a lucky one, I walked out of here but there are lots of people who unfortunately won’t and their families need to be with them at such a time”.
This Blood Cancer Awareness Month, you can make a difference by supporting The Chevithorne Appeal. You can Buy a Brick towards the build for just £5 by simply text ELFB05 to 70070 or go to www.elfcharity.org.uk to buy a brick online.
With your help, ELF can make a real difference to families affected by blood cancer in Exeter.
There are three main groups of blood cancer: leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Some types are more common than others:
• Approximately 160 people are diagnosed with leukaemia in Devon every year, around 75 will pass away.
• Approximately 240 people are diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Devon every year, around 80 people will pass away.
• Approximately 80 people will be diagnosed with a Myeloma in Devon every year, around 45 of those people will pass away.
Treatments for blood cancers will be tailored for each patient and what works with one patient might be unsuccessful with another. Many patients will have stem cell transplants, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For terminally ill blood cancer patients, they are more likely to die in hospital than at home or in a hospice due to the treatment needed.