Saturday, 31 October 2009

Lauren has a horse..well not quite, but she's happy :-)

Today myself and Lauren drove over to Caythorpe to see her new horse Amber.Well to be honest it's not Laurens horse, but she doesn't seem to mind that as the lady that does own him called Sarah has very kindly let Lol get her "horse fix" by letting her feed and groom him...and probably pamper the poor fella to death!.

Lauren has been riding on and off for about 5 years now, but due to the cost involved (about £15-£20 per hour) and her having a younger brother and an older sister, she has had to get a ride when she can, and due to cash limitations that has sadly been not too often over the last few years.

Thank goodness then for people such as Sarah who can obviously see the enthusiasm in Lauren, and is willing to give her a hand with her passion by getting her involved in the care and maintenance of her horse Amber.

Now the hard work starts.Lauren must get over to the farm at between 4 and 5pm to give him his daily nosebag, and this means a drive of 8-9 miles each way, most of which at this time of year will be in darkness, but of course either myself or Teresa will be providing the "Taxi Service" for her....well until the days get lighter at least :-)

Lauren loves horses, and I am sure that she will be more than happy to put in the effort in return for a few rides and the chance to lavish a lot of love on Amber. One day I would like to get her her own horse, but until my numbers come up on the lottery, this arrangement is going to be just great ! :-)

Apparently Amber is an Ex racehorse who is still owned by HRH the queen, but has been retired into pasture for the last 10 years now.Amber stands approx 16 HH and is ...well.....Amber in colour. A Gelding, he is what you would describe as a little boisterous at times, but a fantastic looking steed all the same.

Friday, 30 October 2009

More research,more notes and some great news.

Yesterday I spent some time making notes about time lines and events within the book starting in 1971 the year of Anthony's birth. So far I have managed to compile a timeline of events and information up to mid 1973, and I have found that this is one of those books that you read, then read again and pick up a lot more information the second (or third!) time around.

Something that I have talked out before in this blog is the way that great events in history, not just wars or major disasters but all history, can be initiated by a simple action, and in the case of this book it is filled with such occurrences.For example:

Shirley has a premonition that her baby will have a brain hemorrhage years before the event took place.

After one particularly harrowing night, the night before Ted and Shirley are to bring Anthony home to die (they had been told that he will not survive).Shirley prays for her sons life with such passion that she tells of her face burning fiery red and seeing flashes of yellow as she clenches her eyes tight.The following morning when they go to the hospital to fetch Anthony, they are told by the Paediatric consultant that he wants to try Anthony on Steroids.He though of this the night Shirley offered her prayer, and is quoted as telling Shirley he had "Disturbed sleep" that evening.

Jenny, one of Shirley's neighbours, brings round a newspaper clipping to Shirley which reports the successful bone marrow transplant that was given to Simon Bostic in England.This leads to Shirley making the call to Simon's father and the Westminster Hospital, and results in her subsequent decision to take Anthony to the UK to try to save him.

So much of what I have mentioned above seems to be based upon pure chance, or maybe it's just coincidence...or maybe it is what people would call "Destiny". All I would say is that throughout the book you constantly feel as though this was something that was meant to be, tragic as it was for Anthony, and heartbreaking as it was for Shirley, it is a story that appears to have many instances of some spiritual events, yet Shirley states herself that she is "Basically Agnostic" and feels that she is being hypocritical in praying for help from a god that she often curses and attacks for being cruel and absent in some situations.

The great news.

The great news is that the other day I received an email from Kamahl in which he requested that I could perhaps have a chat to him to recount his memories of Anthony and Shirley.
I have emailed back to just confirm that I am based in the UK and that for this reason it is best that we arrange a time that suits our respective time zones!.

I am very pleased, and frankly amazed that I have had a reply from yet another person featured in the book, and who could give me yet more "first person" recollections of the story bringing it out of the book and adding to my understanding of the circumstances that surround this tale.

I will be checking my email frequently to see when the reply arrives. :-)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Guess what ?...I have won the Canadian lottery!....or have I ?

You have to give it too these saddo's who persist in trying to separate honest folk from their hard erned cash through desception.....they certainly are a persistant bunch of crooks.

Today I received this email:

" Customer ServicesRef: USCA/9420X2/68
Batch: 074/05/ZY369File #
: KTU/9023118308/03
We happily announce to you the Third annual draw of the UK CANADIAN NATIONAL LOTTERY Sweepstakes International program held on the Wednesday 19th of August 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Your e-mail address was attached to ticket number: 564 75600545 188 and Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky winning numbers: 5 6 10 15 39 42 BONUS 8 which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$138,500 (One Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars)in cash credited to file ktu/9023118308/03.This is from a total cash prize of US$5,540,000 million dollars, shared amongst the First Forty (40) lucky winners in this category. All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web through computer Draw system.This promotion takes place quarterly in view of this, your US$138,500 (One Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars) would be released and Processed By our Fiduciary agents/officers in Canada .For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid claiming and unwarranted Abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements.Please be warned. Such cases we encountered earlier. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$138,500 (One Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars) at no extra cost to yourself from our North American payment office located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada should you claim within the 3week time frame. Now, we would like to explain to you the Federal and International regulations governing the personal collections of cash prizes.1) Prize winnings are released to you as soon as your Clearance Fee is deducted and paid. That will be the day that your cheque will be released from our remittance office.2) Your clearance fee is provided for you and is a calculated amount based on the size of your win as required by Federal and International regulations.3) Note that once your clearance fee is paid, you will receive your winnings in the form of a certified check/Draft or if you request, by bank transfer directly into your bank account or any account nominated by you.4) If you are contacted by any other person other than the designated fiduciary Agent and you are asked to send any form of money please desist from any further communication with this person, we provide all stipulated charges or fees take note of this. To file for your claim, please direct all mails /inquiries to our fiduciary Agents in Canada they will take charge of all winners from these continents mentioned above, with all of the Details available below.Once you have made contact, we shall designate one of our numerous Customer services officer to handle your claim: Mr. Thomas Smith Tel/Fax no: +1-206-888-2125 Email: .Good luck from me (myself?) and (the) members of staff of the UK CANADIAN NATIONAL LOTTERY.To avoid necessary delays and complications,please immediately send us an email or fax with following details below: a) Quote your reference/batch and file numbers.b) Your lucky winning numbers and bonus numbers.c) Your full names and current address.d) Proof of identity.e) Also a copy of this email message. f) Winning amount.g) Your email address,telephone and fax numbers. Congratulations once more from all members and staff of this program. Thank You for being part of our promotional lottery program. Yours Sincerely,MR MARTIN HENRYLOTTERY CO-ORDINATOR.(UK CANADIAN NATIONAL LOTTERY) NB:1) Please note preferred mode of communication in redeeming your winnings is through Email or fax; telephone calls may not be received due to busy schedules.2) We had to send this email again because fraudsters/scammers tried to drop a malicious bug into our database, please accept our apologies. 3) If you think you have received this email in error please ignore/discard it.4) Please also do not reply to, if you do you risk been disqualified of redeeming your winnings (i wonder why?). Mode of communication in redeeming your winnings is through Email or fax; telephone calls may not be received due to busy schedules.5) You can also confirm your winning number and bonus numbers on our web"

Click on the link and there are no results for October...funny that !

Of course the slight problem is that I have yet to hear of a legitimate lottery that enters your email/name etc and then awards you a ton of money for no cost to your pocket....too good to be true?You bet it is (slight pun there...sorry!)

Just to recap,the names of the individuals involved (apparently) are :

MR MARTIN HENRY (Lottery Co-ordinator)
Mr. Thomas Smith (Customer serice officer)

Anyway, i will be sending them a reply to see what happens next......just for a laugh......and posting the results up here for your amusement. Watch this space :-)

I have received an email from Kamahl today :-)

The other day I decided to try and make contact with the famous Australian performer Kamahl to see if he could give me some more insight into his visit in the mid seventies to Visit Shirley and Anthony when they lived at 8 High Street Manston.I used Myspace,Facebook and an email address that I managed to find on the net.Imagine my surprise then when this morning I found that he had replied to my good is that ?

Kamahl and his wife Sohondra Popped in to see Shirley, and they then made a wonderful gesture by donating £3000 to the awful lot of money now, but in the mid seventies it was an like winning the lottery !.

Shirley recounts the event in her book and remembered that Anthony's favourite song was called "I'll give you a daisy a day" which was sung by Kamahl. If you click on the picture of Anthony and Shirley at the top left of this page it will take you to a link which playe's the song....sadly not performed by Kamahl, but it was the only online version that i could find (Sorry Kamahl!).

Kamahl has asked me to call him at some time, and this I will do, although with my reputation for "going on a bit" when it comes to having chats, i had better check on the calling cost beforehand or my wife will kill me when the bill arrives :-)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Young Chad gets his Make-a-Wish come true !

At the age of six Chad Landouw is already a hero, having battled leukaemia for much of his young life.

Last week the youngster got to meet his heroes from Sydney FC.Chad joined captain Steve Corica, marquee player John Aloisi, along with Simon Colosimo, Terry McFlynn and Clint Bolton at a training session at Macquarie University, North Ryde.

The boy from Elderslie, in Sydney's south-west, spent half an hour kicking the ball around with the players, who shared their top tips with him.He then stayed to watch the football stars train.

To read the full story click HERE to go to the Sydney Morning Herald Website.
Nice shot mate :-)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

I need to get organised ! is a list of people mentioned in the book or involved with the story in some way, and their current status :

Shirley Nolan. Desceased (2002)
Dr David James. Desceased (2009)
Anthony Nolan. Desceased (1979)
Rhoda Oakey.No info at present
Jim Oakey (Brother).No Info
Ted Nolan. No Info at present
Kamahl and wife Sohodra(Singer, Australia).Contacted via MySpace.Awaiting Reply(25th Oct 2009)
Paul Sutherland (mentioned as Graham Sutherland in book). Contacted Oct 2009.
Ken Nickoll.Now works for the Sun Newspaper.No response to my email so far
Jon Snow (Journalist).Attempted Contact via Facebook (25th Oct 2009)
Simon Welfare (Journalist). Contacted via Facebook but unsure if correct person! (25th Oct '09)
Alan Hargreaves.No info
Barry Westwood.(Southern Television)No Info
Frankie McGowan(journalist).No info
Charles Langley.No Info
George Hawkes(biochemist,round table).No Info
Alan Smith (biochemist,round table).No Info
Marrion Matthews(journalist).No info
Neville and Shula Nisse(journalist and wife,organised events to raise money).Both sadly now passed away,Shula in January 2010.
Tony (Shirley's Brother).No Info
Linda (Shirley's cousin).No Info

More will be added as they occur.....

Saturday, 24 October 2009

An appology now for the last post............

Not sure what my problem was yesterday, but I was feeling very angry at everyone and everything all day long. I guess that aspects of my life (not just my illness) are starting to get to me at the present time, and some days I feel overwhelmed with it all.
My main worry at present is my sons possible diagnosis with ADHD, a condition (or illness) which makes him something of a handful at the best of times, and believe me, on the days when my energy is very low it can drive me insane !.
ADHD is a condition that effects a lot of kids, and the primary symptom is that they just cant sit down and behave, which is difficult for the average Non ADHD 6 year old child, but its a whole new dimension with one that is an ADHD sufferer.
So, my apologies for my rant the other day, but as I have explained, sometimes it all just gets too much...and then something has to blow ! :-)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Bloody Internet.Why can't it be used to do good ?

*Warning.Very annoyed bloggers blog post alert....*

Today I have an overpowering urge to scream out loud at the bloody tragedy that is the Internet. Why? Well for a start we have spam...bloody spam....what the hell is that all about ? Why do tens of thousands of people around this world insist on sending trash to millions of people every day, clogging up the web and annoying the crap out of everyone who doesn't want to buy either viagra or some other bloody rubbish they are peddling. Since I have put my scirocco2morocco email on this blog i have been bombarded with hundreds of bloody useless emails offering me countless of pointless and worthless items ...including a cure for they have no soul ?
Viruses......what the hell is all that about? People actually spend their poxy bloody lives causing other people misery...because they really think that it is a constructive pastime and that they are soooo bloody cool...well you ain't and everyone hates what you do ,especially me!. Death is far too light a sentence for these wastes of skin in my humble opinion.
Now (whilst i am on a roll) lets talk about Google or more precisely, Google's YouTube service. Why do they insist on promoting pointless,unfunny, worthless drivel constantly, not a serious,useful and constructive video in sight. Why is this an issue? Well lets just say that today's offering of some bloke who obviously thought he was some sort of Russel Brand clone (and even LESS funny if that's at all possible!) telling us about climate change in the most tedious,pseudo comedy way that is imaginable.......bloody boring knob head...but he had got over 8000 hits on his verbal diarrhea video......imagine if the video was to try and help recruit bone marrow donors!........yet apparently that is not a very "funny" subject.....what a surprise, and i thought it was hilarious........

The Internet would be a fantastic and incredibly useful tool for human kind...if it was not such a bloody mess.

Ahhhh...the sound of brass.....enjoy!

The Ireland colliery Chesterfield Brass Band performed at the Speedwell rooms in Staveley and raised money for Leukaemia Research,The Anthony Nolan Trust and the Ashgate Hospice.

Many of my family have been involved in several different Brass Bands over generations.I remember going on many outings with the Teversal Colliery Welfare band when I was a kid...i learned many pub songs on those trips :-)

Well done to them for a great concert.


Facebook Group.We need more members !

If you are a member of facebook and would like to get involved in the push to get Shirley's book republished or indeed made into a film, can you join our Facebook group "Make Shirley Nolan's book "A Kiss through Glass" into a film Group.

Click HERE to go to the group page.

Still not had any contacts offered from Australia...surely someone out there in Oz can assist me ? :-)

Another Friday, another sad discovery................

I was feeling rather optimistic this morning after yet another call to my friends over at the BBC to enquire as to if it would be possible for me to post the Shirley Nolan "Light of Experience" DVD onto my blog. Of course i will have to go through the official channels, but it seems likely that as i am not wanting to publish it for personal gain, and as it is over 30 years old, there should be no major problems with my request.I will keep you informed as to my progress on that issue.

Sadly, whilst "surfing" the net a few minutes ago, I came across yet another possible lead that unfortunately seems now to be an opportunity lost :-(.
It was my discovery of the obituary of Dr David James to which i refer, and it appears that this guy, the co-founder of the Anthony Nolan Trust, passed away quite recently in August 2009.
It struck me that Dr James was not really given the recognition that he deserves in his support and help to Shirley when she had the very first thoughts of setting up a bone marrow donor register, yet in her book (which she jointly dedicated to David and her mother Rhona) she says this "It was our first encounter and I was not immediately aware of his brilliance,vision and determination".
"Somehow i was listening, digesting all that this kind Welshman was saying, and on the surface it appeared to mean that nothing more could be done.But I sensed Dr James did not feel this way......he wanted to continue this work".

As it says in the book "Dedicated to Dr David James of the Westminster Hospital, London, for his vision,courage and personal achievement and to my Mother, Rhoda Oakey, for her constant love and devotion to Anthony".

R.I.P David, your contribution to this amazing,life saving trust is acknowledged and your family should be so proud of your involvement in it's birth.

So now I find that yet another avenue of investigation is no longer possible, so i guess that i must get my thinking cap on again and look for more connections that will one day lead me to my goal.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

This is for you Anthony, 30 years ago since you left us but your legacy lives on :-)

Please Click on the image of Anthony and his mum to hear the song that this little fella loved to have sung to him....

R.I.P Anthony Nolan, 2nd December 1971 - 21st October 1979

Still waiting for new leads from Kent !

So the Thanet Extra Newspaper was published on the 16th, some 5 days ago, and so far I have received (0) emails or communications from anyone who knew either of Shirley or indeed her story.
To say i am disappointed would be true, of course I do realise that these things take time to filter out of the paper and to get to someone who may be "in the know" about this subject...but as the days go by I find myself wondering if anyone does indeed still remember Shirley Nolan.

I am still waiting also for a reply from Oz in relation to my enquiry with the newspaper in Adelaide last week, and I have not heard from Ken, the fella who was involved in covering the story in the 70's but now works for the SUN newspaper.

Maybe things will pick up again soon and I will get one of my lucky breaks...i really hope so.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Anyone reading this who is based in Australia ?

Just wanted to ask if anyone who is reading this blog is based in Australia, ideally Southern Australia, but not essential....because I want a volunteer to help me to track down information about Shirley Nolan's life on your side of the world!.

If you would like to give me a hand in my search (and have some spare time you don't mind giving), then please can you email me at the email address that is on the left hand column of this blog (

That's it...Thanks :-)


Bankers still giving themselves huge bonuses, MP's failing the as usual then !

Reading the Daily Mirror today it was comforting to see that not much changes as we weather the storm of the credit crunch here in the UK.
Apparently RBS Bank high flyer's are in line to get up to 5 million quid each in bonuses in the next few months due to lame asses in government and the banking industry still leaving bloody great loopholes in the law.
RBS are 70% owned by the taxpayer now, yet whilst they are having to tighten their proverbial belts and weather the storm of the crunch, the selfish,greedy scumbags in RBS think that they are entitled to a fat cat bonus.........and apparently this is all beyond the control of the UK Labour government who have handed out squillions of quid over the last year to keep these blood suckers in a job whilst thousands of their "normal" employee's find themselves out of work and fighting for survival.
How do they sleep at night knowing that their annual take home pay alone would seem like a lottery win to most folk, yet they are happy to accept absurd amounts of cash as a bonus "because i am entitled to it". Here is an idea...why don't you all do the descent, honourable thing and turn down the bonuses, then divert those millions back into your business and pay back some of the money you have gladly taken from the average people of this country, the people who are, as we speak, perhaps looking at a very bleak and miserable Christmas for themselves and their families.
Who am I if this is ever going to happen. "Let them eat Christmas cake" did I hear the RBS fat cats say?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Is this the longest surviving CLL patient ?

Found this posted on the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society website today......................

"In a few months my 90 year old father will mark his 35th year since he was diagnosed. Has been in & out of remission numerous times, transfused more times than I can remember. Three rounds of chemo (IV) since 1997, last one in 2007. Currently receiving Rituxan once every 3 months. Now off Prednisone after years..
Downside is that he may be a diabetic now! Diagnosed with Alzheimer's 3 years ago, also had
several skin cancer surgeries in the last 3 years. Just like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps going!!"

Wow!.This sounds like a very encouraging bit of news for people like myself to hear :-)

Visit the Leukaemia and Lymphoma site by clicking HERE


Saturday, 17 October 2009

Shirley would have approved of this story :-)

This is the sort of headline that Shirley would have loved to have seen during her fight to save her son Anthony. She may not have had the chance to see this in relation to her own battle, but it sort of makes you smile within when you realise that she KNEW that this may have saved Anthony....if only he had been born into the world 28 years later.

Take a look HERE and you will see what I an talking about :-)


Today I am having something of a question of my commitment....

Do you ever have one of those days when you start to question your own motives, your own decisions and wonder if the path you have chosen to follow is really the one that you really should ?

Today is one of those days, but I can't really explain why.

This morning I got an email from a fella called Paul who was one of the journalists who helped to spread the story of Shirley's fight to save Anthony in the early 1970's, and who it appears was one of the "connections" in the story that formed the basis for the success of the establishment of the Anthony Nolan Trust.So why am I so downbeat today? Surely i would be feeling rather chuffed at the fact that I have established (by pure chance through a call I made to the office of the Thanet Extra newspaper yesterday) another connection, another piece of the jigsaw that forms the story of how an ordinary mother did such an extraordinary thing as establishing the worlds first bone marrow register.

I am feeling rather alone in my search to be honest, and even though I have spoken to many helpful people along the route of my journey...i still look back and see only one set of footprints on this road......

Perhaps tomorrow I will feel better,perhaps tomorrow another bit of the puzzle will fall into place, but to be honest I can't help but feel that there must be a crucial piece that i am missing, a connection that i have not found that holds the key to establishing the copyright holders details...but what then? What if they refuse to allow a reprint? What if they won't allow the story to be told on the screen? And if they do allow use of the copyright how would it be funded? Who would stump up £50-£60'000 (figures based on a conversation yesterday with a film company) to fund production?

God help me I am starting to doubt my own commitment....but It breaks my heart to think that this amazing and inspirational story would never be shared with so many more people in this weary world through the most powerful media's known to man.....Television and film.

Friday, 16 October 2009

join my FAcebook campaign group to get Shirley's book onto the screen :-)

Could I just make a request to anyone who is on Facebook and ask that they join my "Make Shirley Nolan's book A Kiss Through Glass into a film" group. So far we are up to 18 members, but if I have any chance of getting someone onboard with this project we need a lot more !

The article in the Thanet Extra Newspaper was published today :-)

More good news came today in my search for information about Shirley and Anthony Nolan in the form of an article that has been published today (October 16th 2009). As promised a few weeks ago by Martin, the fella to whom I spoke at some lengths about my project, the good sized article is now out and,fingers crossed, I hope to get some good feedback from anyone who may have known Shirley, her mum Rhoda or little Anthony during their time in and around Manston.

This is a link to the online version of the newspaper. Click HERE to view.

Many thanks to Martin and all at the publication for fulfilling their promise and giving me this much appreciated help.

Note* The article states that I drove to Morocco and raised £3500 for the Anthony Nolan Trust.This is not quite correct. Myself and Glen Place (from Kent!) drove ALMOST to Morocco (Gibraltar!), and raised over £5000, but this was split between 3 charities (Leukaemia Research,MacMillan Cancer Support and the Notts/Lincs Air Ambulance).I did however establish 2 Anthony Nolan Trust Bone Marrow Donor Recruitment Sessions at 2 Nottinghamshire hospitals (King's Mill and Newark Hospital) which resulted in 79 more people signing up to the register :-)......just thought that I needed to clarify that point :-). Probably my fault for rabbiting on at poor Martin until his head spun !.



Thursday, 15 October 2009

The DVD from the BBC arrived today.I now have the correct voice for the book !

Isn't it a strange thing how when you read a book you sort of devise a voice for the characters, you know, you can hear in your head what you THINK a person would sound like.....and in this case I can admit that the voice in my head that I had decided was Shirley Nolan's was...completely wrong !:-).
Why? Well having read that she was born and bred in Leeds, I had given her a classic "Yer alright" type of Leeds Dialect, but having watched (and heard) Shirley on the Light of Experience DVD that the BBC sent me this week I cannot tell you how wrong my assumption was.
The well spoken lady in the film was as far removed from my "minds eye" version of her as you could possibly be, and the impeccable diction and eloquent delivery of her story was very enlightening and emotive to watch.
I can't share this 13 minute video with you yet as I don't have permission from the BBC to allow it to be viewed by the public, but if/when I do, I will post it on this site and you too can get an idea of what an amazing mum Shirley Nolan was to her son Anthony.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Today I found Anthony's last resting place.....

After a rather fruitless search last week which involved phoning the parish of St Stephens in London in an attempt to confirm if Anthony Nolan was laid to rest there (he wasn't), i eventually found via the internet (what else!) a site called "find a"...(!), and there within it's cyber walls I found the info i was seeking, the place that Anthony Nolan was laid to rest.
Not only was the info quite good, but it also had a very emotive picture of Shirley and Anthony blowing bubbles together (see picture above), and a couple of shots of the church itself.
I left a message on the message board, and to accompany it I laid a "virtual" flower......and of course it was a simple daisy :-)

This is the link to the webpage. Click HERE to go to it.

Just waiting for the DVD i requested from the BBC to arrive now....should be here soon !

Bone marrow patient meets donor

"Without Paul I wouldn't be here today - how do you thank someone for that?"

In his back garden in Stockport, David Smirthwaite is stood arm-in-arm with the man who donated the bone marrow that saved his life.

It is a scene that neither he nor his family could have pictured a few years ago. In 2003 the father-of-two was told that he would probably die within four years after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, bone-marrow cancer.

To read the full story please visit the BBC website by clicking HERE

Friday, 9 October 2009

And now for some good news from the BBC :-)

Having had a very long chat this morning with a very helpful lady from the BBC studio's at Nottigham it seems that against all of the odds I will soon be able to have a look at a programme from the BBC archive called "The light of Experience" in which Shirley Nolan explains her life looking after Anthony and her commitment to keeping her son alive whatever it takes.

The show was screened in 1977 and was shown on BBC2 .It was titled " A Right to Live".
The video is being sent up from London over the weekend, so fingers crossed I will get to see it early next week. Unfortunately,due to copyright, i will not be able to publish it on this blog.....well that is unless the BBC can see the benefit of allowing it's contents into the public domain to illustrate what an amazing woman Shirley Nolan was. We will see ! :-)

A press cutting from the Sydney Morning Herald.December 13th 1977.

Another web search reveals yet another story from the past about Shirley and Anthony.
It's strange, but in her book she describes the events surrounding the photograph that accompanies the article, and now, seeing it you can see the strain,fatigue and stress that she was under when she arrived back in Australia with Anothony after their marathon flight back from the UK. A picture indeed does tell a thousand words.

The more you look, the more you find.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

College helping to fight leukaemia

Kind-hearted staff and students from West Nottinghamshire College visited King’s Mill Hospital on Thursday (25th June) at a registration session to join The Anthony Nolan Trust’s bone marrow register.

This is the story that was run in The West Nottinghamshire College magazine relating to the students who attended the Bone Marrow Donor Clinic at my Hospital in June 2009.

To see the full article, please click HERE to go to the College Website.
Who's the handsome chap in the blue shirt I wonder ? :-)

Tributes as family man Andy loses cancer battle

TRIBUTES have been paid to a loving father who last week lost his second battle with leukaemia.
In April, Andrew Welsh celebrated his 40th birthday – deemed a big milestone by his family as he was in remission having undergone six months of chemotherapy.

But in July this year Andrew learned the disease had returned.He was taken to Yeovil District Hospital on Friday, September 11 but died nine days later after tests showed that he had contracted pneumonia.
A funeral service will be held tomorrow at St Mary's Church in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, where he lived with his fiancee and partner of 15 years, Sarah Arscott. A cavalcade of motorcyclists will ride alongside the funeral procession, including Mr Welsh's brother Lee, who will ride Mr Welsh's beloved Suzuki.

Mr Welsh, a polisher for Tetrapak in Sherborne, was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in January last year after he discovered growths on his throat. In June he began chemotherapy and had his last treatment just before Christmas.

To read more about Andrew's fight, please click HERE to go to the "This is Dorset" Website.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Congratulations to Jake Peach for getting his Pride of Britain Award ! :-)

Pop star Gary Barlow gives a brave 12-year-old boy the biggest surprise of his life when he tells him he's won a Pride of Britain award.

The Take That singer wanted to meet leukaemia survivor Jake Peach after he heard how his music helped him on the road to recovery following a month-long coma.

To read more about Jake's story and why he got this great ward, click HERE to go to the Daily Mirror Website.
Don't forget to watch the awards tonight (7th October) at 8pm.

Well done young Jake !

Scania Trucks convoy for Leukaemia.Kerry,Ireland

Found this on YouTube. Nice to see all of those trucks getting together to support a Leukaemia Charity !...Well done.

To see more details about the charity that these fella's are supporting, click HERE

Love it !

Monday, 5 October 2009

Ha ha...If you have found my site I guess that like me you tried to type in the website address featured on BBC Eastenders......and found that it didn't exist ! :-)

Anyway, look on the bright side, at least you have found a usefull website that has a touch of humour , a few moans, and a few stories about people living,coping and being treated for Leukaemia.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by !


Rude Masood.....nice ring to it !

Sunday, 4 October 2009

A passage from "A Kiss Through Glass" by Shirley Nolan.

"I rememebr my joy when once I had a son.I had so many dreams of our future together.I wanted so much for him;to guide him,with love,through his illness to healthy manhood.Those dreams were shattered when Anthony died on the evening of Sunday 21 October 1979 aged just seven years.Those were seven years of happiness and heartache during which we battled together for his health and freedom;seven years during which our special love-bond grew with the realisation of my privilege to be the mother of such a brave and beautiful son.A gentle, sensitive boy, Anthony enjoyed music ,poetry and painting.He loved to pick flowers and delighted in their variety and perfume,shape and colour.His favourite flower was the simple daisy. Did he realise , i wonder,how swiftly the daisy blooms and dies? To me it is sad analogy of his own short life."

Shirley Nolan 28th October 1979

Leukaemia Foundation of Australia. Doing great work half a world away!

"A vision to cure, a mission to care". This is the slogan used by the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia, and I have been taking a look at their website today.

Its ggod to see that half a world away there are people engaged in the fight against blood cancers, and that they have a few idea's about fundraising that perhaps we in the UK can learn from...and even pinch!.

Rather than go on about the work that this fantastic foundation undertakes, here is a link to the website. Click HERE to take a look.

I REALLY love the Light the Night cool are they ?

Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night

On Thursday, 8 October people just like yourself right across Queensland Australia, will light balloons to Remember, Celebrate and Give Hope to patients and families living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders.

You can help create a sea of lights across the sky by lighting your own balloon. Each coloured balloon contains a tiny light and has special meaning.
They will light a gold balloon to Remember a loved one lost.
Light a white balloon to Celebrate being a blood cancer surviver.
Light a blue balloon to Give Hope and show your support.
Before you Light the Night, enjoy a family fun atmosphere with entertainment and inspirational stories. Following the lighting ceremony you can take party in a leisurely scenic walk to light the night.On the evening there will also be the opportunity for participants to write a reflective personalised message on a blue, white or gold paper balloon. These balloons will then be displayed on a symbolic wall for other participants to see and read. Messages can be about hope, love, courage, compassion and support for patients, families and friend who have been touched in some way by leukaemia's, lymphomas, myeloma or related blood disorders.Leukaemia Foundation's Light the Night08 October 2009Stockland Park, Bokarina.
Wouldn't it be great if we could do this in the UK also ?
Oh no...I can feel another project coming on !

Who says that every cloud doesn't have a silver lining ?

.....Because the other week I finally received my NHS prescription exemption certificate (or perhaps swipe card would be more accurate!) which means that from now on I won't have to pay for any prescriptions that I have given to me by my GP.

Of course the only downside to this is that the scheme was actually introduced in September last year, and it has taken 12 months for me to finally receive my confirmation of eligibility, so I have been paying for medication for a year that in I should not really have had to.
Oh well, at least I will save a few quid as/when things start to get interesting in the future.

I strongly advise anyone living with cancer, not matter what stage you are at, to fill in the form, get your GP to counter sign it and then claim what is rightly yours to do so.

Who says that clouds don't have silver linings ? :-)

Broken 'switch' link to leukaemia

A broken genetic "switch" has been discovered that can trigger leukaemia.

Scientists believe the discovery - lifting the lid on a previously unknown messaging mechanism in cells - could lead to new treatments.
Leukaemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and the immune system's white blood cells, which do not develop properly and begin to divide uncontrollably.
Like the HIV Aids virus, the disease leaves the body less able to fight off infections. It also disrupts the manufacture of red blood cells, leading to anaemia.
Leukaemia affects more than 7,000 people in the UK each year and causes 4,350 deaths.
Scientists are still unclear about what causes the cancer. The disease has been linked to smoking, exposure to radiation, and infection by a virus that attacks white blood cells. People with Down's syndrome also have a higher risk of developing leukaemia.
The new research implicates a gene called JAK2 that acts as a master switch, turning different genes on or off.
Previously JAK2 was only thought to function on the inner surface of cells. But investigators at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at Cambridge University found that it also acts at the heart of the cell, in the nucleus.
There, an enzyme made by JAK2, controls the activity of other genes by altering proteins called histones that pack and protect DNA.
When JAK2 develops a fault its messages can become garbled, leading to chaos in the workings of the cell and triggering cancer.

Story sourced via the Press Assosciation Website.Click HERE to view.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Forget Me Not Trot idea!......Anyone got a horse we can loan !

Hi people. Well it appears that the fundraising bug has now taken a hold of another member of the Ward Household, this time though the idea came from my daughter Lauren who is what you would class as "Horse Crazy"!.

She is planning something for 2010 (the 50th anniversary of the LRF), but because it is Lauren it does not involve Scirocco's (damn!), instead she wants to organise a meeting of people at a venue (yet to be decided) and for the participants to then take part in a "Forget Me Not Trot"!.

I think the title is fantastic, but as I have already warned her, these things take a lot of planning and organisation, something that, if it goes ahead, she will quickly learn :-).

So, if anyone has any suggestions as to what sort of format this should take, the area/site of the event, and how the sponsorship should be raised....please let us know!.

Oh, as she is currently "horseless", she could do with the loan of one if anyone happens to have a spare knocking....or should that be "trotting" around :-)

Take care.Andy

Just found another bit of info about Shirley on the Internet....

This was written by John Goldman in July of 2002 and relates to her (as then ) recent death.

" Shirley Nolan died in Adelaide, Australia on 14 July. It is customary in obituaries not to allude in too much detail to the manner of a person's death, but Shirley would have complained vocally about any such omission on grounds of politesse. She developed Parkinson's disease at a comparatively young age in the early 1980s and became increasingly incapacitated thereafter. Recently she felt that her life had become totally unbearable and she strongly advocated legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. In the event she planned her funeral and finally took her own life.
Shirley was born in England, but emigrated to Australia in the early 1970s. There in 1972 her first child, Anthony, was born with Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome characterised by a severe immune deficiency and thrombocytopenia, effectively untreatable at that time. When she learned that a child with a similar condition had been treated at the Westminster Hospital she instantly came to London with Anthony and sought the same treatment for him. HLA typing was then still in its infancy, but it soon became clear that neither parent was a suitable donor. Shirley focused then on what was logically the next question - was there an unrelated donor who could serve equally well? Most haematologists at the time were not immediately enamoured of the idea of HLA-typing large numbers of volunteers from the general public in the hope of finding just one suitable donor, but Shirley's enthusiasm and commitment were persuasive. The project was publicised by every available route and more than 300000 potential donors were tissue-typed in the next few years. Sadly no match was found and Anthony died in 1979 without ever having received a transplant.
Shirley's efforts continued unabated. The Anthony Nolan Laboratories were established in Anthony's memory at St Mary Abbot's Hospital in west London and for a while Shirley was personally responsible for raising the funds to continue tissue typing the potential donors, of whom there was no shortage. The whole operation was radically re-organised in the late 1980s with major financial support from the Round Tables of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and a new building was constructed to rehouse the increasingly overcrowded laboratory. Today the Anthony Nolan Trust operates a major tissue typing facility linked academically with the Royal Free Hospital in London and, of at least equal importance, supports a research institute dedicated to improving the results of allogeneic stem cell transplantation using unrelated donors. The Trust has more than 300000 donors on its books and annually facilitates transplants for 300 patients in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, North American and the rest of the world.
Internationally Shirley must be remembered as one of those rare visionaries who see more clearly than others the shape of things to come. They routinely face enormous opposition from those who favour maintaining the status quo, but their energy and clarity of vision eventually prevail. The register of volunteer donors that Shirley created served as a model for establishing the National Marrow Donor Program in the US and numerous similar registries in almost every developed country of the world. This remarkable international achievement is the true memorial for Anthony and for Shirley."

To go to the site which provided this information, please click HERE .

Friday, 2 October 2009

The search now moves to Manston and Thanet in Kent......

I have just finished talking to a great fella named Martin who works "Daan Saaath" in Kent at the Kent Messenger Newspaper (actually he covers the Thanet region, so that is technically probably not correct!). Anyway, after quite a long conversation, or rather a long space of time in which i rabbited on and Martin listened (anyone who has tried to speak with me will tell you that i tend to speak "at" them!'s my biggest failing...sorry!) I explained to him about my mission to find the current holder of the copyright for Shirley's book, but also asked if he could ask, through the newspaper, if any of the local people of the Thanet area hold any memories of the story about which my search revolves.
Martin offered to run a story in the paper sometime in the next few weeks, and he is happy to include my email address for the purpose of allowing folk to contact me with any info they may have.
I can't start to tell you how important this could be in assisting my search, and would like to just pass on to Martin and his newspaper my heartfelt thanks for offering to assist me in such a fantastic way :-).
By the way, the picture at the top of the page in of the Jolly Farmer Public House which is refered to in the book when Shirley popped over to it during Anthony's second Chistmas at home....the one she feared would be his last. She bought a small bottle of sherry for heself and her mother to share on Christmas eve whilst watching over Anthony and pondering their uncertain future.

I have always said that i am a great believer in the ripples on a pond/chaos (butterfly flaps wings...etc) theory, and that i do so believe that by making these connections, these enquiries, I am certain that some day, maybe not too far away, questions will be answered, grey area's will be filled with light, and Shirley Nolan's name will once again be one that people will recognise.

It would be nice to know that by the time we reach the 21st October 2009, more people would be aware that on that day 30 years ago, a little boy named Anthony Nolan died, but it would also be good to just remind them that the legacy that his devoted mother Shirley established in an attempt to save her own precious child is still going strong today, and that the Anthony Nolan Trust is helping ordinary people to give the gift of life to thousands of other's who might otherwise die.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Ramblings from early this morning :-).....well it was just after 2am!

Its 2.24 in the morning, and yet again i find myself inexplicably woken with my head full of thoughts and idea's pertaining to my search for the copyright owner of Shirley's book.So here i sit/lie with my laptop in bed adding another blog entry!.
As i have mentioned before, i am currently reading the story again, the second time i have done so, and yet again i feel compelled to carry on my search to identify this elusive goal to try to establish copyright ownership so that the book "A Kiss Through Glass" can be once more shared with the world.
What or who drives me on is any ones guess.Why, out of all of the people on this planet do i seem (on the face of it) to be the only individual who feels that it is morally wrong to consign this powerful,heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring story to the grey mists of time and the vault of obscurity and faded half remembered folklore. This is story to which possibly thousands, maybe in the greater picture, tens of thousands (including subsequent offspring),may owe their very lives too, and indeed the continued work of the Anthony Nolan Trust, which is still a thriving charity, pays testament to the labours of Shirley Nolan in her fight 30 years ago to save her beloved son Anthony.
The last few days have seen me sending off numerous emails to Australia as I try to widen the scope of my search, only yesterday I emailed the Adelaide Advertiser, a publication that ran several stories about the plight of Anthony during the early seventies. Even without receiving a reply I start to get that awful feeling that maybe too much water has passed under the metaphorical bridge of time for their to be anyone left at the publication who A) remembers the events of 1974-1979 and B) Would be interested in assisting my search. But maybe I am getting a little paranoid perhaps? Maybe tomorrow will bring something, anything tangible that could refresh my efforts, or perhaps, dare i dream, could even lead me to my ultimate goal.
It has just occurred to me that their is the slightest possibility that even when I (if I!) achieve my aim and find the copyright holder (that term is now starting to remind me of the "gatekeeper" in Ghost busters!), what happens if they decline my request to grant permission to republish the book? Why would they? What then? The truth is that I don't really know.I can't think why that situation would arise, but saying that, sometimes people or indeed organisations don't comply and do "the right thing".For whatever reasons are given, i must be ready (although it will be an awful blow) to be disappointed.
I have decided to start a group on Facebook called "Make A Kiss Through Glass into a film". The problem is of course that the vast majority of Facebook users are probably under 40, which means quite simply that due to the rarity of the book they are likely to be too young to have heard the story via the press as it was reported in 1974-1979...catch 22 as they say!, so I will have to refer members to my webpage and hope that my insane ramblings are enough to fire their imagination and gain their support.
Well, it's now 3.03 in the morning and the battery on the laptop is showing only 15 mins of life left (the laptop, not me!...hopefully!), so i will now end this post save it (if i don't get that right you won't be reading this anyway!), and then attempt to get 3 more hours of sleep before getting up, having a coffee and then returning for another fun filled day at the hospital :-). Bye for now.