Ken Reid praises work of NI blood cancer charity for helping keep him alive

Former UTV political editor Ken Reid has praised the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI for funding research and clincial trials into blood cancer, which, he said, has helped keep him alive.

By Helen McGurk
Monday, 30th August 2021, 4:49 pm
Updated Monday, 30th August 2021, 4:56 pm
Former TV broadcaster Ken Reid is a patron of Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI
Former TV broadcaster Ken Reid is a patron of Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI

Mr Reid, who is patron of the charity, was speaking ahead of of Blood Cancer Awarness Month in September and the launch of a new campaign by Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI to ensure the public is aware of the signs and symptoms of these potentially fatal illnesses.

The veteran broadcaster, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2017, said: “The development of new and improved treatments for blood cancer has provided hope for patients like me. Receiving a diagnosis of leukaemia left me expecting the worst but I have been lucky enough to take part in a clinical trial which has kept me alive and able to live in relative normality. Without charities like LLNI funding this research, these clinical trials would not exist.”

Approximately 1,200 new patients are diagnosed in NI each year and this number is expected to rise.

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Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI is asking supporters to “Snap & Share, Be Blood Cancer Aware” when they see their banners out and about throughout the province this September. By highlighting the notoriously vague symptoms of these illnesses they hope that the public will be more aware and seek the urgent advice of their GP or a medical professional.

Common symptoms of leukaemia and lymphoma include:

*Fatigue

*Night Sweats

*Unusual Lumps

*Recurring Infections

*Bruising/Bleeding

*Bone Pain

Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI has been the only charity dedicated to blood cancer in Northern Ireland for 57 years, their mission is to improve outcomes and quality of life for blood cancer patients by funding laboratory research, education and clinical support.

The charity has invested over £14 million pounds into blood cancer research in Northern Ireland and they pride themselves on being a small but efficient organisation funding research that has a global impact.

Chairman Richard Buchanan said: “This campaign is a great opportunity to educate the public on what sort of symptoms to look out for with this dangerous disease. Research has made significant progress in improving outcomes for this patient group but there is still more work to be done. We are dedicated to funding research and clinical support which will have the biggest impact for patients in NI and further afield.”

The charity relies entirely on donations to fund their research which looks at developing and improving therapies for patients.

Like many charities, Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI has suffered greatly with the impact of covid in the last 18 months. Restrictions put a halt to many of the fundraising events organised by the charity and their supporters but they hope to see a period of recovery now that restrictions have eased.

All funds donated to this worthy cause remain in Northern Ireland to fund projects here.

You can support Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI this Blood Cancer Awareness Month by snapping and sharing their awareness campaign on social media and tagging Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI online.

Operations Manager Joanne Badger said “Our mission this month is to make as many people as possible aware of the signs and symptoms of this dangerous disease. Whilst it can affect patients at any age, it is the most common cancer for those under 30 so we wanted a campaign that would educate this group. Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms listed should contact their GP for a blood test immediately or present to emergency care.”

You can mark Blood Cancer Awareness month and show your support for patients your own way:

*Make a donation

*Host a fundraising event

*Make an appointment to donate blood

*Register to join the stem cell donor register

*Continue to wear a mask in public spaces

For more information visit www.llni.co.uk or email [email protected]