Milton Keynes leukaemia patient joins stars of The Girls musical on West End stage

Vivien and The Girls cast
Vivien and The Girls cast

Milton Keynes leukaemia patient Vivien Dagley joined the cast of West End musical The Girls on stage at the Phoenix Theatre last week for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Vivien, 68, and the show’s six leading ladies raised a cup of tea to celebrate Tea with the Girls, an ongoing fundraising initiative for blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, supported by the musical.

Vivien with fellow Ambassadors & St Barts nurses

Vivien with fellow Ambassadors & St Barts nurses

Vivien, who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in August 2012, was treated to the matinee performance of the show before heading up on stage to chat with stars Joanna Riding, Claire Moore, Michelle Dotrice, Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann and Claire Machin.

She was joined by fellow Bloodwise Ambassadors Katie Moore and Jane Leahy, as well as two blood cancer nurses from St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

“The show is still amazing and I cried more this time than I have done in the past!” Vivien said.

“The cast are just so welcoming and we had some fun with them after everyone had left the show. It was an amazing opportunity to meet them and let them know the positive impact that their support is having on patients like myself.”

Tea with the Girls has been spearheaded by the Calendar Girls, whose friendship and desire to make a difference saw them create the famous ‘alternative’ WI calendar which has, so far, raised £4million for Bloodwise and inspired The Girls musical written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth.

The campaign encourages people across the country to host their own afternoon tea with family, friends and colleagues to raise money for research into blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Meeting the cast was also an opportunity for Vivien to personally thank them for their ongoing support for Bloodwise through the bucket collections that take place after each show.

“The musical continues to raise amazing amounts of much needed money for Bloodwise, and my sincere thanks go to the cast for their diligence in going out after every show and collecting donations for blood cancer research,” she said.

Diana Jupp, acting CEO of Bloodwise, added: “We are thrilled to have the support of The Girls musical for Tea with the Girls. With the money raised from the campaign we can fund more research that will save the lives of patients with the disease which kills more people each year than breast or prostate cancer.”

For a free Tea with the Girls fundraising pack, including recipes from new Great British Bake Off host Prue Leith, please visit www.bloodwise.org.uk/tea-with-the-girls