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Team Fortrus are cycling from London to Paris to raise money for Bloodwise, in just 5 days time.........

Blog post   •  Aug 30, 2016 13:43 BST

Fortrus have a strategic partnership with the charity Bloodwise, this relationship started after I rode London to Paris last year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QixzJ7KgujE) and was so overwhelmed by the strength and courage of not only those that I rode with, but also the passion and determination of all involved, to really want to make a difference in the fight against Blood Cancer. So I engaged in a dialogue with them to see how, as an organisation we may be able to help.

What does this mean?

Fortrus Ltd is working in partnership with Bloodwise to help raise money in the fight against Blood Cancer.With the expertise that both Fortrus and Bloodwise have within the Healthcare industry and the desire to constantly improve, we felt that together we could achieve more in the fight against blood cancers than we could alone.


Fundraising

'Team Fortrus' have already signed up for the Bloodwise London to Paris ride in September, I will also be doing the Bloodwise Blenheim Triathlon in June. We see this is a fantastic opportunity to get Customers and Partners involved in our fundraising activities over the coming year.

Pro Bono Opportunities

Bloodwise work with data in many ways throughout their organisation. We plan to work together to explore and understand the best ways in which Fortrus may be able to help improve and manage the data they collect, whether that be through their supporters, clinical trials or Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN).

Working with people:

Fortrus puts the user at the forefront of the systems it builds, and Bloodwise put blood cancer patients at the forefront of their research and support services. In 2013, they started what has become the most comprehensive piece of research into the needs of blood cancer patients. They identified 24 key needs, which they have already started to address. 2015 has seen the name change from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to Bloodwise to embrace patients suffering from all the 137 different types of blood cancer. They launched their first ever blood cancer awareness campaign to reverse the lack of awareness of blood cancer and organisations which are here to help. Over 2016 and beyond Bloodwise will be working hard to address all the unmet needs, and continue their research as these evolve.

Never stop innovating:

In the same way that Fortrus is developing technologies which were thought impossible, blood cancer scientists were the first to treat patients with chemicals, via chemotherapy, which at the time was deemed “incompatible with sanity”. Their Trials Acceleration Program (TAP) has changed the game for cancer research; described as “bang on” by National Cancer Director Sean Duffy. It’s a model that’ll work for all diseases, not just blood cancers: so it could truly revolutionise clinical trials in the UK. Using a hub-and-spoke model, the University of Birmingham coordinates clinical trials in 13 centres, creating a catchment area of up to 22 million people. Acceleration of access to life-saving medicines is now part of the UK government’s Life Sciences’ agenda and the government have highlighted TAP as an example of innovation and best practice in this area.

The new TAP site supports the development of blood cancer research by providing a set of digital tools for the TAP community, which includes Bloodwise partners (researchers and hospitals), bodies such as Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), members of the public, pharmaceutical companies and other researchers.

The website monitors real time trial patient recruitment data; allow key documents to be shared within the TAP network; showcase the TAP approach and its benefits to the public; allow TAP researchers to share best practice; and showcase the various centres around the UK and their involvement to the public.

Data is powerful:

20 years ago, Bloodwise invested in what is now the Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN), which houses data from 20,000 blood cancer patients detailing every clinical aspect imaginable, including their symptoms, treatment, response, height, weight and lifestyle. When they first invested, they didn’t know exactly how they would use the data, but knew they’d reap the rewards in the future. So far, its enabled them to identify the biggest blood cancer killers, find out whether one type of person is more likely to get blood cancer than others and recognise links between socio-economic background and survival rates, which could be associated with some groups of people adhering to their treatment regimen better than others. They know this is the tip of the iceberg for the depth of knowledge that can be gained from this data.

We have attended events and as an organisation have been embraced by Bloodwise as part of the family, you may think that sounds a little bit cheesy, but trust me once you start to engage with the people within the organisation and the families that are involved in supporting the charity you would know exactly what I mean. 

I had the privilege of being invited to the BT Tower for a specific event on Monday evening to raise awareness around Childhood Leaukeamia which I felt was a very emotional and humbling experience, following on from this we have been invited by Professor Tariq Enver to take a tour of his laboratory at UCL, meet the research team and see where these amazing breakthroughs happen. He is a leading figure within Stem cell biology and is making significant advances particularly in the area of Childhood leukaemia, enabled by the research funding provided by Bloodwise.

So in addition to pro bono opportunities we are working on as above, we have also entered a Fortrus Team into the London to Paris ride that will be held in September this year. So if you can help support us in anyway by sharing the  link to our JustGving page and help us raise money for Bloodwise it would be most appreciated.

https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Fortrus

If you need a reason to motivate you to help then please just take a few moments to watch these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz9s36NSw1I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNX-Gv_zW0E

Please get in touch if you are able to help with fundraising in anyway, by making a donation, hosting an event or providing items for an auction, I'd love to hear from you.

Leigh Baillie

+44 7894 517828

Leigh.Baillie@fortrus.com

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