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The Bloom Appeal

The Bloom Appeal was established in 2014 by healthcare professionals, scientists, patients and carers. We are dedicated to helping patients through treatments as well as investing in facilities and research.

We support the care and well-being of patients with blood cancers. We fund and invest in scientific research into treating and curing leukaemias, lymphomas and other blood cancers. Together we make a difference for blood cancer patients in the Merseyside and surrounding areas.

Our Work

Helping People with Blood Cancer

There are at least 60 different types of blood cancers, which can affect the young and old. Every year approximately 1,250 people in the Region will be diagnosed with a blood cancer – leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, etc.

Although some are cured, a large majority have to live with the disease and its consequences. It is these people that require our help and support.

Here in Merseyside we have:

  • World-class facilities that provide the best and most up-to-date treatment and care.
  • An internationally renowned program of research including clinical trials.
  • A vibrant patient support group and network.

We use your donations in a variety of ways that ranges from supporting research, funding training, assisting individuals and purchasing equipment.

Below, are some examples of how we have used donations recently.

Improving Hospital Facilities

Most recently, The Bloom Appeal, in partnership with Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Charity has a joint goal of raising £100,000 to establish the Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Centre in the new Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital in the city centre. Our aim is to provide a space dedicated for youngsters to receive their cancer treatment but with access and facilities to the services they need and with space to chill out and socialise with people their own age.

Healthcare Equipment

In addition to big goals we constantly strive to help blood cancer patients in Merseyside. Recently we have bought items to help patients on the wards, fridges, heaters and fans. The hospital and University labs have also benefitted from new equipment; qPCR machines, gel imaging systems and bioanalysers. We have sponsored nurses, doctors and researchers to continue their professional development, both nationally and internationally. Christmas is always a busy time as we provide patients with personal extra help and in the new year we look forward to hosting our annual patient-physician forum where patients can ask the consultants and researchers about what’s new in blood cancer.

Patient Support

Dean Wilson is a patient.

“The assistance from the Bloom Appeal came at the most demanding stage of my treatment, it enabled us to focus on the treatment and allowed us some breathing space financially. I especially appreciated that you sent help without an overly complicated application processes or delay.”

Healthcare Training

Julie Grant is a Haemato-Oncology Nurse Clinician.

“I am extremely grateful to the Bloom Appeal for providing me with a grant to enable me to undertake a module in advancing healthcare practice. This will go towards my Advanced Healthcare Practice MSc. The financial support they provide to nursing and healthcare education is invaluable. The application process was quick and easy to do. I would highly recommend the Bloom Appeal to any healthcare professional wishing for a little help with their studies.”

Jemma's Story

Real People, Real Life

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My symptoms (intense itching and a small amount of weight loss) had been going on for about a year until I developed shingles.

I was referred to a Dermatologist who requested a CT scan. The CT scan showed some abnormal lymph nodes in my chest and these where investigated by two biopsies. The results confirmed the diagnosis.

Before I started my treatment, I underwent egg harvesting at the Women’s Hospital, and then I had chemotherapy (ABVD) followed by radiotherapy to my chest. Since my diagnosis and treatment, my family and friends have supported The Bloom Appeal with fundraising activities. My husband Paul and his work colleagues have undertaken 'The Ten Peak Challenge' in The Lake District where they climbed ten peaks in under 14 hours and a very close friend, also called Paul, competed in the ‘Tough Warrior’ assault course.

We are very aware of the excellent work the charity does for patients and health professionals and scientists trying to beat blood cancers.

Robina's Story

Real People, Real Life

I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in December 2011. Since my diagnosis I have been on the ‘watch and wait’ list. This means that I attend clinic every six months where my blood is checked, and I have an examination. At the moment I am not having any treatment.

Prior to my diagnosis I had been ill for several years with blood transfusions every three months and monthly iron infusions. I had been passed from department to department until I arrived at the haematology department where a bone marrow test revealed the diagnosis.

The Doctor discussed my other health issues and referred me, in partnership with my GP to Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital for major surgery which has given me a whole new lease of life.

My CLL diagnosis was a relief as I now knew I was not just making things up. The support and treatment has been second to none and I feel I owe the team my life. I have met some wonderful people and have made fantastic friends.

We are delighted to have Roger Phillips as our Patron.

Roger, who was born in Manchester, arrived in Liverpool as an actor in the early 70s to join the Everyman Theatre – and fell in love with the city. He subsequently worked as a cab driver, before moving into local radio at BBC Radio Merseyside in 1978, where he presented a daily phone-in programme until 2020.

Our Trustees and Team

Ensuring We Meet Our Aims

Jean Gadsbury - Trustee

Jean Gadsby is an Accountant, born and raised in Liverpool, who has recently joined the Board of Trustees.

She is a former Governor of the Royal Liverpool Hospital, and has a vested interest in Leukaemia and Blood Cancers, as her late husband was diagnosed with CLL
some time ago.

She has served on various boards in the City, was a Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and played a big part in regeneration initiatives.

She is delighted to take the post as Treasurer for the ensuing years.

Dr Priya Bhatnagar - Trustee

Priya was born in Liverpool and is a GP, having completed medical school at the University of Manchester in 2008.

Having carried out her training in the East Midlands Region, Priya returned to Merseyside and Cheshire, completing her GP training in 2016. She now works in the local area as a GP.

Priya recently joined the Bloom Appeal board of Trustees in January 2020.

Dr Emily Hill - Trustee

Emily was born in Wrexham North Wales and is an A and E Consultant at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Emily moved to Liverpool in 1998 to study and never left.
Emily joined the team in 2015 after fundraising for the Bloom appeal when her husband was diagnosed with leukaemia. 
She is a mum of three and is an active member of Liverpool Cricket Club Women’s team where she gained her coaching qualification and coaches a girls cricket team.
She’s also a Racing Medical Officer at Aintree and Bangor-on-Dee Racecourses.

Frank Donovan - Trustee

Frank was born in Liverpool and started his career as a computer programmer in the 1960s before going on to manage many successful system projects in Banking, Insurance and Finance within the UK.

He has been involved in fundraising in Liverpool for leukaemia causes since 1985. He set up and was chairman of the successful Haemanthus Fund throughout its existence. The fund sponsored a number of Phd research students in haematology projects at the University of Liverpool over many years.

As a volunteer, Frank has now completed 38 years of continued fundraising for the blood cancer cause. He has raised funds for patients and staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool. He has also raised funds for research and treatments at the University of Liverpool.

Abila Pointing MBE - Trustee

Abila was awarded an MBE in 2008 and is the former High Sheriff for the County of Merseyside.

Abila has an academic background in Psychology, Sociology and Management Studies. She gained her MA in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Liverpool, and her Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies from Liverpool John Moores University. Earlier qualifications, including an MA in Psychology, were acquired in Pakistan.

Abila is now retired, but her working career included employment with Liverpool Careers Service and Nacro (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders). She has also worked at a national level with a number of criminal justice agencies on the race and diversity agenda.

Abila was awarded her MBE for her community relations work in Liverpool and Manchester Prisons.

She was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2010 and was High Sheriff for the County of Merseyside for 2014-15.

Abila was also a member of University of Liverpool Council from 2011 to 2019.

Dr Kehinde Ross - Trustee

Kehinde is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Kehinde was born in South London and raised in Nigeria before returning to the UK for his degree in Medical Biochemistry at Brunel University.

Kehinde obtained a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Sheffield in 2002. He then moved to Newcastle University for postdoctoral training in the Dermatology Department.

Kehinde joined Liverpool John Moores University in 2008 and currently leads projects focussing on psoriasis, alopecia, non-melanoma skin cancer and drug development in co-operation with national and international collaborators.

Elaine Kinsella - Trustee

I was diagnosed with Multiply Myeloma in January 2021 after my vigilant GP spotted some unusual blood results following a consultation with him about some back and shoulder pain.

It was a tremendous shock to me and my family. I started treatment within two weeks of my diagnosis and I remember being so focused on getting through my treatment and trying to be as positive as possible.

My first grandchild was born as I finished my last round of chemotherapy and that gave me something positive to focus on!

Following this, my next step was to get through a Stem Cell Transplant in order to kick my Myeloma into the long grass and hopefully stay in remission for longer! With the support of my family and friends and to talking to others who had gone through this rigorous treatment, I got through 4 weeks in a hospital room with no visitors! It’s been a year now since my Stem Cell Transplant and I’m in remission and feel great!

Whilst in hospital I really felt privileged and wanted to give something back. I decided to raise money in the restaurants I own with my husband. We managed to raise over £25,000 in the first six months for local and national blood cancer charities and now continue to raise money for The Bloom Appeal – a local Merseyside Blood Cancer Charity.

I was approached by one of their trustees of this latter charity to become more involved and am now on their board of trustees. I feel very privileged to be part of something that supports and brings hope to many people with Blood Cancer and their families.

Mandy Davies - Team

Mandy has recently joined The Bloom Appeal as an Administrator.

Mandy has lived in Liverpool all of her life. She has had a varied work life from administration to managing her own photography business. In the last eight years she has worked in the legal sector and was extremely proud to be a part of the team who represented 22 of the families in the Hillsborough Inquest.

Mandy’s involvement with the team inspired her to start studying part-time for a Law Degree, which she has now completed with First Class Honours.

Dr Gillian Johnson - Team

Gillian is a Research Scientist within the Department of Haematology at the Royal Hospital.

Gillian has lived in Liverpool all of her life. Following her degree in Genetics at The University of Liverpool, she started working in the Department of Haematology at the Royal Hospital. She has been in the Department for over 16 years working as an NHS Research Scientist with Professor Andy Pettitt.

Her work has focused on developing new tests and markers to aid in the diagnosis/management of blood cancers. In 2011 she became involved with establishing The Bloom Appeal and continues to be actively involved in its management.

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