Monday, 24 November 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Now at this point I was going to describe the service,but several newspapers have already done this so I won't.Instead I will simply say that what I saw and heard that day moved me to tears. The story that was told that day in church of a child who fought his disease like a tiger, smiled like the sun,played with his friends,had fun and touched the hearts of many. I had the privilege of knowing Joel and his wonderful family for only a few months, but the experience has left a lasting impression upon me, and I am sure that his story has certainly touched the hearts of so many others.
I have heard some people ask why this had to happen to Joel.Why was such a happy and loving youngster made to suffer this terrible disease, and why was it not the happy ending that we all hoped and prayed it would be. I can't say that I know the answer to such a question,but I would like to think that Joel's death will somehow help others, perhaps make people take more notice of the pain and suffering that is all around them, and maybe spur them on to take action and try to make a difference.
For Joel the journey is over all to soon, but in the the short time he had in this world he proved himself to be so much more than just another poor kid with blood cancer.He was a example to us all, a bright star that lit a beacon of hope and it is down to us that are still here to carry that beacon and try to make a difference in the constant fight against the enemy we call Leukaemia.
They say that the smallest stars are the ones that shine most brightly.Well now there is a new star in the sky, and boy is it putting the others in the shade :-).Rest in peace Joel.
These are the kind folk from far and wide who have helped us so much with our fundraising.I guess that you would call them "the back room boys" (and girls!).Lots of money was raised via Ebay and Freecycle, and it is through such means that over £460 pounds of additional money was secured.So, please give yourself a pat on the back for an excellent job !.Well done :-)
Nigel & Jill (Holbeach) - special thanks
Gareth and Melee (Branston) - special thanks
Andrea (St Catherines)
Jane (Canwick) - via Ebay
Kelly (Newark) - via Ebay
Fraser (Sleaford) - at car boot
Matrix (Lincoln) - Ebay sales
Ian (Cranwell) - via Ebay
My apologies if I have forgotten anyone but you will all know how appreciative I was for your generosity. It's the kind and generous folk like these that restore your faith in human nature.Sorry that I took so long to get around to giving you all the credit that you deserve, and thanks to Kaz for reminding me :-)
Extra special thanks must also go to Kaz and Pete in Cranwell, without whom our job would have been so much more difficult, especially when we went to RAF Waddington and Kaz met me at 6am to supply a white board and a selection of scribbling sticks to use with it !...Ta !
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Let me enlighten you a little, based on what I have found out so far:
Cord Blood is the residual blood that is left over in the part of the umbilical cord that is disposed of after mother and child have been separated. In other words, it would normally be disposed of by the hospital when the birth is complete.
This cord blood is astonishing stuff, it contains large amounts of hematopoietic stem cells, brand new and incredibly "naive" cells that ( due to being still immature) can change into numerous types of cell, this allows them to be used to "repair" damaged cells in area's such as the brain,bone marrow and even the heart !.
I am still swatting up on this information, but this is a link to 2 UK websites which contain a lot more useful information: The NHS one is here at : http://cord.blood.co.uk/index.asp and this is the Anthony Nolan site: http://www.anthonynolan.org.uk/cordblood/cordbloodprogramme/
This sounds like a very promising new development in the fight to find cures and treatments for a wide range of illnesses, including Leukaemia, and the best part about it is that it carries no invasive procedures to "harvest" the cord blood......so what is the problem ?
Well the main problem currently within the UK is that there are only 5 hospitals that are offering the cord blood donation harvest to new parents.4 that are run through the NHS Cord Blood Bank service at Northwick Park Hospital in Middlesex, Barnet General Hospital in North London, Luton and Dunstable Hospital in Bedfordshire,Watford General Hospital in Hertfordshire and Mater Infirmorum Hospital over in Belfast. the King's College Hospital in London also provides a service via the Anthony Nolan Trust.In the US there are currently 20+ hospitals involved in Cord Blood harvesting, thus many more mothers are able to give this life saving gift at the time of their child's birth.
Have a look at the video that is posted in the left hand column of this blog for more details.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Today I got a message that I had been dreading the arrival of for some weeks now, the news that little Joel Picker-Spence aged 6, had passed away in hospital after his brave fight with leukaemia.
I was going to title this post as "Joel loses his fight with leukaemia", but it seemed unfair to suggest that he had somehow failed to achieve his goal to live, and besides it would not give him the credit that he deserves in relation to the vast amount of encouragement and motivation that he has given not only myself, but also the hundreds and thousands of people that have followed the story of one small boys courageous battle with such a great enemy.
Joel Picker-Spence did not "loose" his fight, he eventually bowed to the unrelenting disease that was his leukaemia, but to all those who bore witness to his smiles,laughter and love that he had for his friends and family, he was a real hero,as was his mum Anne, who was always by his side during his numerous hospital visits.
I have yet to hear of any hero that has ever truly lost any fight.
God bless you Joel.Our thoughts are also with Ann,Dan,Sean and Eva his smashing and so obviously loving family.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
The set they are doing is from the album "Architecture and Morality" circa 1981.It's strange, but I had forgotten how much of a place music like this had in my life during my teenage years, and this album in particular brings back some pretty good memories of a school trip to Paris,France when I was about 15-16 years old, especially "Souvenir" and "Sealand".
I remember giving my cassette (remember those ?) to the bus driver early in the trip, and from that point on it seemed to be constantly on the bus stereo !.So it should not come as a surprise then to find that every occasion since my teen trip to France, OMD singing any of the tracks from this album instantly trigger thoughts of Paris :-).
Our lives seem to pass so quickly once we leave school and enter the "grownup" world of work,possibly marriage,kids etc, and sometimes it is easy to forget the "good times" that we have experienced before we entered the rough and tumble of the "adult" phase of our lives, and we find then that on the many occasions that we find life hard to cope with,due to stress,money or illness, we can draw upon "the movies of our minds" (Ah-Ha,Analogue LP), the memories of better days that we store somewhere in our heads,dormant, like those piles of video's in the cupboard, the ones you forget you have, but upon finding them once again we can't wait to view "for old times sake".
We should all take a Little time out of our busy grown up schedules to sit down, take some time and try to remember the good old days, for in times of hardship,worry or fear memories can be some forgotten good friends that all of us carry with us everyday, and like the best friends, they won't ask why you haven't called in 20 years, they just tell you how good it is to see you again, then enthusiastically spend a long time reminiscing about the glorious past.
Monday, 3 November 2008
"LEUKAEMIA sufferers were given fresh hope yesterday with a major DNA breakthrough.
The cancer is caused by abnormal production of white blood cells and current treatment relies on killing them.
Now New York scientists have discovered a drug that reprogrammes the cells back into healthy ones.
Study leader Michael Cosgrove said: “Our discovery will bring new ways to treat leukaemia.”
Isn't it strange how this very encouraging an possibly important news was given such low exposure, and yet subjects such as Peter and Katie/Jordan Andre/Price having a snog, the American election and Motor mouth Russell Brand (yawn), got so much more space!.
Anyway, here is the link to the web page that has the full story not just a "stocking filler" such as the way that the SUN decided to report it !