Indulge me dear reader, on two counts.
First, I’m going to get a bit ‘preachy’ here, so forgive me.
Second, please share this across your social networks. As a great bastion of social responsibility once said, Every Little Helps!
My main resolution for 2016 is to do all I can to encourage people to support our country’s cancer services. So here goes the preaching!
Sadly, more than one in three of us will develop some form of cancer in our lifetime. Better news is that advances in science and medicine means treatment is improving and the chances of a full recovery is on the increase.
But we can’t just leave it to the pharmaceutical giants and scientists.
There’s do much we can ALL do to help. Now. So let’s just consider a few resolutions.
First, look after yourself. Everything in moderation etc.
But if ANYTHING causes you concern – lumps, coughs, dodgy tummies, sore heads, back ache – your GP wants to hear from you.
Seriously. Promise me you’ll #GetChecked. Go on, be brave, make that commitment. The chances are it’s nothing serious. But if it is, the earlier it’s identified the better the treatment chances. http://www.getcheckedearly.org/
Next, blood. Are you a donor? If not, could you be?
I’m lucky (if having an incurable cancer is lucky!). I’ve not needed a blood or platelets transfusion yet. But I will. And I’ll be thankful that someone made that donation.
I’m typing this in Ward 1 at the Western. It’s the Macmillan Day Treatment Unit. There are half a dozen folk around me getting transfusions of the red stuff, and from what I hear they get blood on a regular basis. I came close today with a platelet count of 14 – the average is 150-440…
But as you probably know, the Blood Transfusion Service are always looking for more donations. https://www.scotblood.co.uk/
I used to give. I stopped and never restarted. Even when the donation van came to my workplace! And I regret that like hell now.
Don’t put off ’til later. If you can, give that pint of blood. Do it regularly. It really will save lives.
If you’re feeling even more daring, become a stem cell or bone marrow donor. If you’re between 16 – 30 and in good health, you can sign up to the Anthony Nolan register (you’ll stay on it until you turn 60). They’ll send you a spit kit in the post so that you can give the, a quick saliva sample. Whenever a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder needs a lifesaving stem cell transplant, they search the register, looking for someone who’s a genetic match for that patient. If you’re a match, they’ll be in touch, and ask you to donate if you’re still healthy and happy to do so. http://www.anthonynolan.org/
Similarly, going on the organ donor register is such a simple thing to do but so easy to neglect.
Then there’s the support for cancer patients and their families. The bulk of this is provided by charities and volunteers. If you are fundrasing in 2016, please consider supporting Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK or the wonderful Maggie’s Centres.
What I’m saying is that YOU can make a difference. Giving blood, getting checked, raising money or volunteering your time.
It really can be worthwhile. Trust me.
Happy New Year!