DAREDEVIL MUM AND INFLUENCER COMPLETES ABSEIL TO MARK BLOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Daredevil mum and social media influencer Sally Hurman completed a 170 metre abseil to raise vital funds and awareness of the work of blood cancer charity DKMS.
On Saturday, Sally abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth to help DKMS mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September).
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma and often a blood stem cell donation is the best – and sometimes the only – treatment method to help give someone a second chance of life.
Mum-of-three Sally, 50, known to her social media audience by her handle Getting Stuff Done in Heels, regularly uses her platform to encourage followers to register online with DKMS. She has worked with the charity since early 2018 following her husband, Gavin’s, own battle with blood cancer.
Initially, Sally set a fundraising target of £1,000, but she surpassed that milestone, generating more than £XXXX in donations, which brings her total fundraising to £XXX since she first started working with DKMS two years ago.
Sally said: “I really wanted to do something special to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month. It’s such an important date for people with blood cancer and for DKMS. A few years ago I’d have never considered myself a daredevil, but after seeing firsthand the bravery shown by Gavin and others with blood cancer, finding the guts to abseil the Spinnaker Tower didn’t seem like such a tall order after all
“If I’m honest I was both terrified and excited at the same time. I don’t recall much of the beautiful harbour because my eyes were closed a lot of the time, but I drew strength from the thousands of blood cancer patients fighting for a second chance of life and completed the abseil. I’m donating all funds to DKMS because they do such important work registering donors.”
Blood Cancer Awareness Month takes place every September. The month is an opportunity for blood cancer charities to raise awareness of blood cancers and disorders, and also highlight the incredible second chances of life that blood stem cell donors give to those in need.
Caroline Richardson, Head of Fundraising at DKMS said: “So many charities have taken a huge hit in terms of their income this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are no different at DKMS. In fact, this year’s fundraising figures at are down by almost 50 percent compared to last year, which could prove detrimental to so many of our patients.
“We’re thrilled Sally has continued to raise vital funds for DKMS as well as using her social media platform to shine a light on the work we do and on Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September). She’s a great ambassador for our cause and she demonstrates that people can get involved with DKMS in several ways, whether it’s signing up to be a lifesaver-in-waiting, volunteering or simply fundraising – you can always help us to fight blood cancer.”
It costs £40 to register one potential blood stem cell donor. DKMS relies on monetary donations to help cover this cost. Whilst the NHS is very supportive, it falls to charities like ours to reach out and recruit those potential lifesavers.
Fundraisers like Sally Hurman help DKMS to provide home swab kits to the 2,000 UK patients each year waiting for a match from an unrelated blood stem cell donor. If possible, please help Sally to reach her £1,000 fundraising target by donating on her JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sally-hurman.
If you are aged between 17-55 and in general good health, you can join us this Blood Cancer Awareness Month by registering for your home swab kit today at https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/bcam2020. By registering as a potential blood stem cell donor, you will join a club of over 697,000 DKMS lifesavers-in-waiting to help a stranger in need.
- DKMS is a global not-for-profit organisation that started in Germany in 1991 around one family’s search for a donor. Peter Harf founded DKMS in honour of his wife Mechtild, who had sadly lost her battle with blood cancer. Peter promised his wife to help every blood cancer patient searching for a matching donor.
- Today, DKMS operates in Germany, USA, Poland, Chile, India, South Africa and the UK.
- DKMS is dedicated to the fight against blood cancer through recruiting stem cell donors and providing second chances of life; creating awareness of blood disorders and raising funds to match donor registration costs.
- To date, DKMS has registered nearly 10 million potential blood stem cell donors worldwide. Over 84,000 people around the world have received a potentially lifesaving blood stem cell donation through DKMS.
- In the UK, DKMS has registered over 697,000 blood stem cell donors to date and helped to give over 1,130 people a second chance of life.
- DKMS launched in the UK in 2013. DKMS is the trading name of DKMS Foundation, a registered charity in England and Wales (1150056) and Scotland (SC046917). DKMS is a limited company registered in England and Wales (08151279).
Blood stem cell donation
- To be considered a match, the donor and patient must share similar tissue characteristics.
- If you match with someone who needs a blood stem cell donation, the two methods through which blood stem cells are collected are either: a donation of peripheral stem cells collected via the blood stream (around 90 per cent of donations are made this way) or a donation of bone marrow collected from the back of the pelvic bone.
- Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma (Cancer Research UK, 2014).
- About 2,000 people each year in the UK are in need of a blood stem cell transplant.