Leukaemia sufferer to join Beefy on walk

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A city leukaemia survivor will join cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham at Richmond’s Ham House & Garden on Saturday April 21, for the final stage of Beefy’s Great British Walk 2012 in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Chris Hawes, 29, will meet Sir Ian at Ham House in Richmond where local families from across the region can join the walk to raise vital money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Chris was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1985, aged just 3, Chris endured months of treatment at Milton Keynes Hospital; “I don’t really remember much about my treatment, I remember seeing lots of different doctors, having lots of blood tests and feeling quite unwell.”

Chris missed out on his first year of school and remembers having a tutor at home to help him catch up. This meant missing out on play time with friends, Chris says: “Missing out on playing after school really affected my confidence, I missed out on all the banter and fun that friends have and became quite a shy child.”

Chris is now doing really well, he had check ups until he was 20 but has been free of those for the last 9 years, “I still have scars and thinning hair as a result of the treatment I had and I am prone to illness when it is cold”. Chris says he has always been determined to not be too affected by his experience “I made a decision to not let my leukaemia get in the way of my life, and to not give up on my dreams.”

This will be Chris’ third Beefy Walk, “its such a great event to be a part of, its really family focused and a fantastic way to raise awareness and funds for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research who have done so much to increase survival rates for children diagnosed with blood cancers.”

In 1985 only 20% of children survived the most common form of childhood leukaemia, now more than 90% survive this disease. But there are still children and teenagers losing their battle.

To date, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research have invested £3.5million in multiple research projects based in London. This includes world-class research uncovering the genetics behind childhood leukaemia so that treatments can be developed to eradicate the disease at a very early stage. This will spare children the gruelling side effects of treatment. We are also supporting breakthrough research to harness the power of cord blood transplants – a last chance cure for many children.

Sir Ian, who is President of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “I never forget why I put myself through the pain and blisters. But I need people to sign up and join me on the walk and help ensure that every child diagnosed with one of these blood cancers survives. I won’t stop until we beat childhood blood cancers, but I can’t do it without you.”

If you would like to sponsor Chris, visit his justgiving page www.justgiving.com/Christopher-Hawes29 .

If you would like to join Sir Ian on one of his walks please phone 020 7504 2282 or email LHolmes@beatingbloodcancers.org.uk or visit beatingbloodcancers.org.uk/beefywalk2012.