Redbridge blood cancer branch celebrates �2million milestone

Charity campaigners are celebrating reaching the landmark of having raised �2million and the survival of their branch.

The total was announced at the annual meeting of the Redbridge branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research at St Peter’s church hall, Aldborough Road North, Newbury Park, on Sunday.

It also saw the election of new officers to replace committee stalwarts. There were fears the retirement of Jill Simister, Roger North, Vena Clark and Trish and Trevor Oakley would spell the end of the branch which was set up by Poppy Baker in 1974.

But the election of Steve Gowers as treasurer and Charlie Wallace as secretary will maintain the work of the branch, heralded by charity head office as vital in helping to save the lives of people suffering from blood cancers.

Annette How spoke of the “journey” Redbridge branch had gone on over the 37 years and the huge inroads that had been made in treating blood cancers in that time.

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“We learned that last year we raised, with your help, �20million, which is an amazing amount,” she said.

Mrs Baker paid tribute to the retiring committee members saying it would be difficult to imagine the branch without them.

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She said: “Jill has been a most fantastic ambassador and Roger has been the backbone of the branch.” She added Tricia, Trevor and Vena had been “wonderful”.

Consultant haematologist Dr Ian Grant, of Queen’s Hospital, Romford, and divisional director of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, told the meeting that although cancer survival rates were below most western world countries those for blood cancers were equal to �anywhere in the world.

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