Dame Kelly Holmes Joins LIBRA in the Battle Against Blood Cancers
Olympic athlete Dame Kelly Holmes has taken up the role of ambassador for The Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA) as she campaigns to raise awareness of blood cancer after losing her mother to myeloma.
The double gold medal winner teamed up with LIBRA in September 2018 as she is encouraging people to provide support so that new lifesaving and
life improving blood cancer treatments can be created.
Dame Kelly was keen to support LIBRA as it is the official haematology charity for King’s College Hospital in London (King’s) where ground breaking
treatments for myeloma and other gruelling blood cancers are being created.
Dame Kelly has spoken out about her role and said: “I am so pleased to be an official ambassador of LIBRA. I was delighted to be approached by
the Trustees and I look forward to 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 mainly options available and that kept everyone’s
Her 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. A year on and Dame Kelly is throwing her support behind LIBRA to help patients like her mother.
LIBRA Chairman Andrew Lodge said:
We invited Dame Kelly to become an ambassador for LIBRA as she is a fantastic role model and she is dedicated to raising awareness of blood cancer.
The Trustees and I would like to thank Dame Kelly for taking up the ambassador role and we look forward to working with her. With the support
of Dame Kelly, we will be 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 supporters to don their running shoes and take part in the Brighton Marathon Weekend, taking place on 14th
April 2019. Whether you would like to run the challenging 26.2 mile marathon or take part in the exciting 10k – you can do it in the name of
Dame Kelly, a former British middle-distance athlete, is behind the campaign to secure charity runners and said:
Registering to run the Brighton Marathon or 10k for LIBRA provides the perfect opportunity to get active in the name of an amazing cause. “I encourage
individuals, groups, fun runners and regular runners to sign up for the events. Come on and get involved – together we can make a difference.
Together we can help to save lives! I wish everyone who registers for LIBRA the best of luck, enjoy the event – I wish I could be there!
Farzin Farzaneh Professor of Molecular Medicine at King’s added:
I have registered for the 10k event and I am in training. I would like to raise as much as possible for LIBRA as the charity is such a great support,
helping us to take great strides forward in our studies of blood cancers and treatments, development of treatments and the provision of first-class
Registration for the marathon costs just £50 per person and we ask for a minimum of £400 to be raised in sponsorship.
Registration for the 10k costs £20 per person and we ask for a minimum of £100 to be raised in sponsorship.
If you would like to secure a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Claire on 01428 656283.Contact Us