A 22-year-old Birmingham based cancer survivor who received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from her brother has launched a campaign to help others.
Only two weeks before her 18th birthday, Beatrice was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, one of the most common cancers amongst 13-24 year olds. Despite this, she was faced with numerous grueling chemotherapies which went on to fail, which is when she was told she would need a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.
She says “someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every 20 minutes, and about 2000 people are in need of a lifesaving transplant every year, but only 30% of these have a matched donor in their family. This means that the other 70% rely on an unrelated hero to save their life”. Having had three siblings to choose from, Beatrice was lucky enough to a 100% match from her brother, which specialists describe to be “very rare and like winning the lottery”. With the transplant process being a huge and daunting experience in itself, she says “I couldn’t have imagined how I would have felt knowing I needed a transplant to survive, but not knowing if I even had match”. Therefore, the campaign was created to encourage more people to join the register, in order for the other 70% without a match, to find one quicker!
Beatrice launched this campaign by encouraging members of her own orchestra (The Peoples Orchestra) to join the stem cell register and to hold their next concert on April the 21st at West Bromwich Town Hall, in support of her campaign, to raise awareness of the Anthony Nolan and DKMS Foundation stem cell trusts. Beatrice now wants to venture out further, encouraging other orchestras far and wide to raise awareness of the stem cell trusts and consider signing up, in her aim to save the lives of blood cancer patients, one orchestra at a time.
Beatrice aims to break the myth that being a bone marrow donor is a painful or ‘scary’ experience and educate people on how easy becoming a donor really is, by spreading her story and campaign to as many people as possible and encouraging as many orchestras to become partners of her campaign.
If you are an orchestra wanting to become a partner or an individual wanting to sign up to the stem cell register, visit www.thegreatorchestraadventure.com to find out more.