Dame Kelly Holmes MBE Supports LIBRA in the Battle Against Blood Cancers

Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE (mil) is a proud supporter of The Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA) as she campaigns to raise awareness of blood cancer after losing her mother to myeloma.

The double Olympic champion teamed up with LIBRA to help encourage you to provide vital support so that new lifesaving and life improving blood cancer treatments can be created. Dame Kelly values our diverse community and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion with special interests in mental health, LGBTQ+ rights, wellbeing, female empowerment and many more important topics

Dame Kelly was keen to support LIBRA as we are official haematology charity for King’s College Hospital in London (King’s) where ground breaking treatments for myeloma and other blood disorders are being created. Her mother Pam received treatment under the care of King’s haematology department, but sadly died in 2017.

Dame Kelly has spoken out about her role and said: “I’m so pleased to be a LIBRA supporter. I was delighted to be approached by the Trustees and I really enjoy helping to raise awareness of the charity and its work for King’s.

Having lost my mother to blood cancer, I understand only too well the importance of having the very best treatments available to patients. I hope I can help inspire people to provide much needed support so that funding is available to help ensure the creation of treatments that will go on to save lives.

Kelly’s mum Pam didn’t really have any reason to think anything was seriously wrong. She had bad pneumonia for a couple of years in a row and had some back pain. Being a sportsperson, Kelly automatically assumed her back pain was muscular, so recommended getting a massage. Pam had also been feeling a little bit tired but put that down to work, as Pam was a nursing assistant.

Pam then was told she had broken some ribs and had assumed it was from her dog pulling too hard on the lead but a consultant she worked with at the hospital suggested they run some blood tests just as a precaution.

The blood tests came back with an abnormality and so they sent Pam for a bone marrow biopsy, which later confirmed she had multiple myeloma.

Kelly’s mum and family were extremely shocked as they had never heard of myeloma, and they were upset to discover unfortunately, myeloma is currently an incurable (terminal) cancer. However, the consultant reassured them that there were plenty of different treatment options.

Treatments for myeloma can be very effective at controlling the disease, reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. Pam stayed positive through her initial chemotherapy cycle and when it relapsed she remained positive as there were still options available and that kept everyone’s hopes high.

Kelly’s mother underwent chemotherapy and had a stem cell transplant, which initially made her feel much better, but she died suddenly while in hospital on August 7 last year, aged 64. Today, Dame Kelly throws her support behind LIBRA to help patients like her mother.

LIBRA Chairman Andrew Lodge said:

We invited Dame Kelly to become a LIBRA supporter as she is a fantastic role model and she is dedicated to raising awareness of blood cancer. With the support of Dame Kelly, we are able to raise more vital funds for the Haematology Department at King’s, ensuring the best possible diagnostic equipment and treatments are available to patients with myeloma, leukaemia and other blood cancers.


To help raise funds LIBRA is calling on you to get involved with our Going For Gold Fundraising Campaign which was inspired by Dame Kelly.

If you would like to request a fundraising pack or register your fundraising, please email info@libralionscharity.org.

Going For Gold