Cancer survivors ask Blues fans to back new campaign

IPSWICH: Football fans turning up at Portman Road are to be asked to support a new campaign aiming to find a cure for blood-related cancers.

The Geoff Thomas Foundation – founded by the former England star who overcame leukaemia – has enlisted the help of other cancer sufferers in a video aimed at highlighting the disease and efforts to find a cure.

Two of these survivors are from Ipswich. Daisy Turner, 21, was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in 2005, when she was just 16. She later needed a stem cell transplant to beat the disease.

She has now made a full recovery and has become an ambassador for Kings College Hospital in London where she was treated.

She is joined on the video by her 15-year-old cousin Curtis Rink who has overcome non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, another blood-related cancer.

The 35-second video has so far been screened at 30 football grounds across the country, and Terry Baxter from Ipswich Town said the club would be delighted to show it as soon as possible.

He said: “We shall put it on the screens on the concourses during the build-up to a game. I don’t know when it will be shown yet.

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“We would like to get it for the Cardiff match (on Saturday) but we will have to see if that will be possible.”

Mr Baxter said the club and the football league already had their official charities, but that would not prevent them backing a campaign with such a strong local interest.

Miss Turner, who is due to start a course at Exeter University at the end of the month, said helping to raise funds for research was very fulfilling.

She said: “It is just fantastic to be involved with Kings and the Geoff Thomas Foundation.”

Earlier this week Miss Turner took part in the BGC (Barclay Group Capital) Charity Day at its Canary Wharf headquarters in London which raised money for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research campaign.

The event is held on or as near as possible to September 11 as a memorial to the company’s 658 employees who were lost in the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 – at the time it was called Cantor Fitzgerald.

Celebrity “brokers” spend the day trying to raise as much as possible – and Miss Turner rubbed shoulders with celebrities from Ronnie Corbett to Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley.

She said: “That was a wonderful day. Louie Spence from Pineapple was there and my mum is a great fan of his – she was so uncool!”

Curtis was diagnosed with lymphoma just as his cousin was getting the all-clear. His treatment was completed in March and he has now returned to Claydon High School where he is studying hard for next year’s GCSE exams.

n Have you been inspired to boost the campaign against illness? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail evening starletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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