Saturday, 31 January 2009

Anyone know any good bands available Easter Sunday ?

Hi folks.Just a quick enquiry, but does anyone have any connections with any bands who may consider taking part in a concert that is being planned for April 12th (Easter Sunday) at Rock City in Nottingham, to raise money and awareness for Leukaemia Research?
I was made aware of this event by Ann Picker-Spence, Joel's mum, and she is currently looking for any bands that would be interested in taking part. Of course this would be on a voluntary basis, as all the cash would be going to a very worthy cause.
In the UK today, their are sadly still many kids who don't make it through to the end of their fight with Leukaemia, and this event will also be in remembrance and in dedication too their courage and bravery that they all showed when faced with such a tough life at such a young age.
We are currently contacting bands to see what sort of response we get, obviously not all bands will be available to play on the date, but maybe we will get lucky and succeed in getting a few to give up their time and support this amazing gig.
Please get in touch via the email on this blog if you think you can help, and i will pass the info onto the good people who are arranging it.
If any of the people whom i have contacted over the last few days are reading this blog,please could you try and help out with this project. Thanks :-)

Friday, 30 January 2009

2 out of 3 ain't bad !

Why the title ? Because that's how many of my kids managed to make it to school today :-). Only 1 has been struck down by the dreaded "child flu", you know, the flu that is second worse only to "man flu"!.
Anyway, as it's Friday it is now the official start to my weekend, because due to the wonderful NHS, i manage to cram all of my required working hours into 4 days instead of 5, which means that i get a 3 day weekend instead of a 2 day weekend.There are few perks within the National Health Service in the UK (and NO we don't get free prescriptions !) , but as perks go, this is a very useful one !. Saying that, it is not what you would consider a "day of rest",not after a 6.45 start to get the (2 out of 3)children ready for school, followed by a busy day sorting out the mess that the affore mentioned sprogs have made in the house !.
Anyway, must get on and try to find were the mess on the living room floor stops, and the carpet, were is that Vacuum ?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Greetings to all of my new friends on the CLLC Friends Forum.

I would just to say a big hello to all of the great people that made me feel so welcome on a site that i found recently called the CLL Christian friends ( Now i have to say that my attendance at any church is currently limited to weddings,funerals,deaths,christenings and (if i can make it...i did last year!) midnight mass at Christmas, so i guess you could call me a "light user" when it comes to religion, however I would just like to point out, that just because this group is the CLL Christian Friends, they are a very friendly and active group who are not going to judge your "credentials" before allowing you to join :-). Please, if you or anyone you know has been touched by leukaemia (although they also cater for other cancer discussion), take the time to pop onto the site and say hello !.

Now.Just a quick update on my plans to bring a bone marrow recruitment session to the East midlands area in the near future.
I was again engaged in talks with a manager within the Sherwood forest Hospital Trust, and again the conversation we had was very positive and upbeat.Still no firm dates sorted as yet, but I think that i would be safe in saying that the session will be scheduled for sooner rather later, and the first of the possible 2 sessions will be at Newark Hospital, Nottighamshire.
I am sure that many of you who read this blog will remember that this is the town (or rather the town next to the town!) that little Joel Picker-Spence lived before his sad death in November of 2008, and, i am sure that you would agree, there could be no better reason than that, for us to succeed in holding a session at the hospital in Joel's memory. watch this space !.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Burglars steal leukaemia boy's presents

Well, we know that there are always going to be bad people in this world, but this one hits home and makes you really angry. My youngest child once asked me "Why can't just bad people get cancer ?", and I guess it has to be said that if they did, maybe cruel acts like this would stop !

A FAMILY returned from a dream holiday, celebrating their five-year-old grandson’s recovery from Leukaemia, to discover they were the victims of a devastating burglary.

Story here:

PCR on a digital array detects leukaemia relapses

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, Washington) used a digital array from Fluidigm to detect resistance to drugs that treat chronic myeloid leukemia.

A supplement made from grape seeds can destroy leukaemia cells, say scientists.

New research into grapeseed extract shows that it may be of use in destroying leukaemia Cells :

Shirley Nolan (OBE) a beacon of hope for so many

This entry is being posted retrospectively as i sit here in the month of May 2009.
I found this information by pure chance whilst doing my weekly "sweep" for info relating to leukaemia issues....and it, i am not afraid to say,moved me to tears.

Shirley Nolan began the Anthony Nolan Trust in the 1970's to try and find a bone marrow donor for her son. Sadly Anthony died before she found a donor for him, but the work of the ANT over the last few decades has saved many others.

As i write this i have just put a bid on a book i found on EBay called "A kiss through glass" which i found for sale for the princely sum of 1 bids. This book was written by Shirley, and tells the moving and sometime harrowing story of her fight for her sons life and ultimately her having to cope with the inevitability of his death.I hope that i win this auction, no matter what the cost as i feel that this is one book that i just must read.

This is the post that i found reporting Shirley's death, and i was quite shocked to learn that in the end, faced with advanced Parkinson's, she took her own life. Shocked, but not judgemental, for Shirley set in motion the chain of events that even today is helping people to live....something that Shirley was unable to do. God bless her, and may we all hope that there are many more like her who, faced with a life that was touched by adversity and sorrow, had time to find the strength and courage to help others around her .

Shirley Nolan

Shirley Nolan, who has died at Adelaide aged 60, set up the world's first bone marrow donor register after her only child, Anthony Nolan, was diagnosed with a rare disease that could be cured only by a bone marrow transplant.

Anthony Nolan was born in 1971 with Wiscott Aldrich syndrome, and had no resistance to disease. He suffered a brain haemorrhage at birth and, once his condition was diagnosed, doctors at the Adelaide hospital where he was born told Shirley Nolan that he was "incurable". In 1973, however, she discovered that a child in Britain with a similar condition had had a successful bone marrow transplant, and she moved to London to begin a search for a suitable donor.

Four years later Shirley Nolan opened the first Anthony Nolan laboratory while she and her son continued to wait for a donor. When not in hospital, Anthony was forced to live in isolation away from other children, for fear that even a minor infection could kill him. Their hopes were raised on a number of occasions when they thought a donor had been found.

Towards the end of his life Anthony Nolan was living with his mother near Ashford, Kent, in a converted ex-Army hut which was kept as sterile as possible. With only his mother and grandmother for company, his lonely existence and failing health had left him bearing little resemblance to the round-faced toddler of the early 1970s, and his mother described him as deeply disturbed. Despite her exhaustion, Shirley Nolan continued to help raise the £4,500 a month needed to fund the bone marrow unit at the Westminster hospital.

In 1977, fearful of a British winter, she decided to take Anthony back to Australia. However, his condition deteriorated and he returned to Britain. Doctors were unable to treat him with a new technique using cells from family members, and he died in October 1979, a few weeks before his eighth birthday.

Shirley Nolan was born at Leeds in 1942. After taking her degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she decided to become a teacher; in 1965 she was appointed Head of Drama at a school in Essex. Six years later she and her husband, Ted Nolan, emigrated to Australia, where their son Anthony was born at the end of 1971.

After Anthony's death, Shirley Nolan continued to campaign on behalf of the (now re-named) Anthony Nolan Trust. The trust today manages the world's largest register of potential bone marrow donors, bringing hope to those suffering from leukaemia, aplastic anaemia and immune deficiency conditions. "My greatest reward," she said recently, "has always been knowing that my little boy did not die in vain."

Shirley Nolan admitted before Anthony's death that she had considered euthanasia for him. "I felt," she wrote in her book A Kiss Through Glass (1979), "that it was both selfish and cruel to keep Anthony alive - to prolong his life of such suffering." But she never gave up the fight to keep him alive. When she herself, however, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, she became increasingly involved in the South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society. She committed suicide on July 14.

Shirley Nolan was appointed OBE in 2000. In the same year the Anthony Nolan Trust provided its 2,500th donor for a transplant.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

So would you consent to them doing this with your placenta ?

I was surfing around the net today and came upon this rather worrying article which reports that one NHS hospital and it's patients had been "conned" into "selling" mothers placenta's to a laboratory, who then extracted "valuable" material from them, and sold them on to.....cosmetic firms !.Apparently these firms then use the biological extracts to develop face creams and anti aging creams. You have to wonder what the world is coming to when catering for research into some vain ladies "polyfilla" cream takes preference over research into curing cancer !

Here is the link:

And if that doesn't make you angry, how about this news from Korea !

People need to ask a lot more questions about what happens to their DNA, after their child is born. I know that I would have asked when each of my 3 children was born, but not because I didn't want to donate the placenta....just that I prefer the idea of saving lives, rather than reducing wrinkles !

More news about donor sessions in Nottinghamshire.

Ok, today I had a chat with a lady called Nidia at the Newark Hospital in Newark-upon-Trent in Nottinghamshire. The main gist of the conversation was to confirm that she is more than happy to make available an area within the hospital (at a date yet to be confirmed) to use as location for a donor recruitment session that will be arranged and hosted by the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will remember that the little boy Joel Picker-Spence, who sadly died of his ALL Leukaemia last November, was from a small village just outside Newark, and it is for that reason that we will be promoting this event in his memory.
Just got to try to push ahead with similar arrangements that I hope to implement at Kings Mill Hospital sometime in the near future.
A very important part of these sessions will be to make sure that the general public, as well as hospital staff, will be able to participate, and it is to that end that I will (as soon as details are finalised), be engaging the help of the local press,radio and hopefully TV, to spread the word and ensure that as many people as is humanly possible, are given the chance to offer "the gift of life", and perhaps save someones life as a result of registering on one of these sessions.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Still working on 2 donor sessions !

This week I have been checking on the progress of my attempt to establish 2 donor sessions within Nottinghamshire.I can't go into much detail as there is nothing confirmed yet, but lets just say that the ball is now well and truly rolling, and that I have been assured that not just one, but possibly 2 donor sessions will be sorted out by the first quarter of this this space :-)

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Hello to all those visitors from overseas :-)

I thought it would be nice to just say a big hello to all of you people viewing this blog from outside the UK :-)

I was not aware of just how varied the locations of some of my regular viewers are.So whilst I have got a minute, let me just say a great big hello and thank you to the folks in (at last count) around 20 various countries on this great planet of ours :-)

Please keep checking this blog.I know that sometimes there are loooooooong gaps between posts, but that is usually due to either work or home commitments, and I will try to make an effort to ensure it is updated on a regular basis.
I am also a member of Myspace and Facebook (Andrew Ward,Nottingham network...look for the profile that shows 2 blokes next to a Scirocco with the Rock of Gibraltar in the background!), so please feel free to add me to your friends list and say hello !

This year I am taking a break from raising money for Leukaemia charities (give someone else a chance!), and instead I am going to concentrate on trying to get involved in recruiting more people to the register of bone marrow donors.The inspiration for this came from 2 places. Firstly the little boy joel Picker-Spence who sadly dies of his illness in November 2008, but also from my lovely wife Teresa, who after being a blood donor for many years, has now signed up to be a bone marrow donor also......luv ya lots for that my darling ! :-)

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Copyright, and petty minded greedy corporations !

Happy new year to all of you who regularly read this blog. Hope that 2009 brings you peace,happiness and all good things :-)
Sadly, as you can gather from the title of this blog post, not all people are as generous as I would like to think, and this was illustrated recently this week when I received an email from the folks at YouTube telling me that they had withdrawn one of my Scirocco 2 Morocco promotional video's from their site after some corporation/company had complained that i had used their copyright owned song (The Cult.She sells sanctuary) as a backing track !.
Ok, perhaps I am taking this rather seriously, and maybe they are entitled to flex their corporate muscle to stamp out piracy and regular illicit use of valuable media, but we are talking about one bloke (me!) using a track that is well over 20 years old (the Cult) for a backing track on a video that promotes a CHARITY event raising money for cancer I missing something, but where am I supposed to be "robbing" them of any revenue ?. Anyway, in case they bother to read this blog (I don't know who they are as only YouTube are privy to that data!), let me just say thanks for confirming a suspicion that i had, that the music industry only gets involved in anything with the word "charity" in it, if it has a chance to make itself some well earned cash (!).Oh, by the way, i have now replaced the soundtrack with something else, and you (the complainers!) are not gonna get a penny from the use if that who wins ?

Ok...rant over :-)