Individual's events and challenges 

80 miles of thanks and a thread of hope

Hodgkin’s disease is a type of lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system.

In 2004 Mark Masson was first diagnosed with an advanced form of Hodgkin’s disease, and after countless cycles of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and relapses, he had a bone marrow transplant using his own stem cells. When this failed, Mark was given a terminal diagnosis and it was predicted that he had just one year to live.

Upon receiving this diagnosis, Mark began to research options worldwide to see if all possibilities had been exhausted. “I had to leave no stone unturned for myself and my family”, Mark says.

Mark contacted clinicians in the USA, Canada, Israel and the UK, until eventually he was referred to Professor Linch, a UCLH haematologist that specialises in Hodgkin’s disease. At the first meeting, Mark and his extended family piled into the professor’s office, anxious with anticipation to hear his thoughts. “There is not no hope”, Professor Linch told Mark.

Fast forward to 2016, Mark has received a life-saving bone marrow transplant, and he looks back to this moment with gratitude: “Professor Linch gave me a thread of a lifeline when I thought there was no hope, and then UCLH saved my life.”

For Mark, that glimmer of hope from Professor Linch at such a challenging time is something he will never forget. In Mark’s words, “mentally I needed to get to a place where I was at peace to let go of the world if I had to, while still maintaining hope that I would get my life back”.

Finding this mental state was difficult to achieve, as the terminal diagnosis had come as a shock and Mark’s son Ben was just three years old at the time.

Mark treasured moments with Ben, and in-between treatments would look forward to catching a few hours with him. “Having Ben was a blessing and a real boost”, Mark says, and adds that he wrote a song for Ben, whilst sitting in a waiting room for treatment. “I wanted to put something on paper to let Ben know how I felt, if the worst were to happen.”

Against all odds, Mark survived, and to say thanks to UCLH and Professor Linch, Mark has walked the 80 mile London Capital Ring to raise money for UCLH Charity’s Haematology Cancer Care fund. “I wanted to give something back to UCLH haematology department for saving my life. I did this doing something I really enjoy and with the added bonus of being joined by my wonderful family and friends along the way; I walked and saw the sights of London.”

To donate to Mark’s cause, visit his JustGiving page. If, like Mark, you would like to fundraise for UCLH Charity, please visit the UCLH Charity JustGiving page.

Climbing Everest and surviving the earthquake
By Jules Mountain

In April 2015 Nepal was struck by the worst earthquake in living memory. At the time of the impact, I was shivering in my tent at Everest Base Camp, trying to nap midway through my two-month long attempt to climb the highest mountain in the world. Shockwaves caused a colossal quantity of rock, ice and snow to be dislodged from one of the peaks overlooking Base Camp and thousands of tons of snow crashed down towards us and buried us. I survived the avalanche and as a mountain first aider I looked after 18 very sick people in a makeshift tent for 24 hours. This wasn’t what I had envisaged for my Everest summit attempt but was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I was happy I could help a few people.

I am now back in Nepal to try and climb Everest again. For me being close to death means I now want to take every opportunity that presents itself.

I have written a book about the experience called “Climbing in the shadows” and half of the profits will go to HCC, once I find a publisher. Wish me luck with my climb! Jules headed back in Nepal to climb Everest again and this time reached the top! He has already raised an incredible £20,000 for HCC. Please check out his blog and JG page: www.justgiving.com/Jules-Mountain/ and www.challengeeverest.co.uk. Thanks Jules!

A Buzz Cut for Blood Cancer

In December 2015, Lucy Angier was diagnosed and admitted to UCH with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia at the age of 27. On 1st January this year, following her first round of chemo, she shaved off all of her hair after it had begun to fall out. Her friend, Rayya Ali wanted to do the same in solidarity and decided to also use the opportunity to raise money for HCC. On 2nd February she did just that and has raised almost £3000 so far. She has also started volunteering for HCC! Lucy has been responding well to treatment, with hopefully just one more round of chemo to go.
https://www.justgiving.com/Rayya-Ali-HCC-UCLH/

Shopping, Prosecco & Cup Cake

Kellie Farnham raised funds for HCC with a personal shopping event. Visitors were treated with a fashion show

 

Lewis Farmer

 

Thanks to Lewis Farmer and team who raised £420 for LALU through the National Citizen Scheme.

Natalie Mallee

Thank you to Natalie Mallee for you July Skydive! Natalie and mum Brigid also attended the Richmond Park Bike Ride and together raised a fabulous £3000 for LALU.

Sheree Murphy and Harry Sewell

Sheree Murphy and Harry Sewell

Sheree Murphy and Harry Sewell won £20,000 for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Unit on Celebrity Mr & Mrs. Sheree also won £1,000 on Family Fortunes for the Unit.


Walk for Heidi

Nicola Walker

Nicola Walker and friends raised £850 for the unit in their Walk for Heidi event around Virginia Water.


 Lauren's Fund

 

Lauren Murrell (left) has raised £42,000 to pay for PhD student Eva Kokalaki to study genetically engineering T-Cells as a more effective and less toxic approach to treating patients with leukaemia especially AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia). Lauren was treated on the Unit and created 'Lauren's Fund' which continues to support the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Unit. www.justgiving.com/Lauren-Murrell

www.justgiving.com/Lauren-Murrell  


New flow cytometer

The Remembering Julia trust donated £50,000 to fund a new flow cytometer in the department of haematology, UCL Cancer Institute. Family and friends of Julia Bayliss raised funds in her memory since 2009 and have donated £100,000 to the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Unit. £3,500 was also donated by family and friends of Philip Hammond in his memory towards the flow cytometer and software. Our heartfelt thanks to both families.