This is the second collaboration between Cure Leukaemia and the University of Birmingham after the ‘Birmingham, let’s cure leukaemia’ campaign was launched in the summer of 2014 to encourage runners to take part in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run.
In 2003, former England, Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers footballer Geoff Thomas was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was given less than three months to live. However, following treatment by Cure Leukaemia Co-founder and University of Birmingham’s Professor Charlie Craddock, and a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005. To celebrate ten years in remission from leukaemia, Geoff has teamed up with Cure Leukaemia and the University of Birmingham to raise £500,000 to ensure more patients can access lifesaving treatments like he did. On 18th June 2015, 300 cyclists will take part in London 2 Paris: Inspiring The Revolution enjoying the thrill of riding like a professional with the full complement of rolling road blocks and mechanical support, as well as the chance to ride in peloton-style groups of up to 75 riders with a group to suit every ability.
Geoff, and the footballing community, have a strong connection to Cure Leukaemia. The charity helped save Geoff’s life and, more recently, the life of former Aston Villa Captain Stiliyan Petrov. Based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Professor Charlie Craddock has stated his ambition that Birmingham will find a cure for all blood cancers within the next 30 years and Geoff is determined to raise funds to advance this progress. Much of this work will be taking place in conjunction with scientists at the Institute of Translational Medicine, a transformational building based next to the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital that will bring together patients, researchers and clinicians under one roof. Its location in the heart of Birmingham also means that patients with a range of other cancers and life-threatening diseases form one of the largest patient populations in Europe can benefit from access to new drug and transplant therapies. New treatments which will be pioneered in Birmingham and save lives, like those that saved Geoff.