An evening of superstars and a celebration of the transformational partnership driving Cure Leukaemia to new heights.
There are events…..and there are BIG events! And this one was certainly up there on the scale!
It was a wet miserable evening in London but nothing was going to dampen our excitement as we arrived at the glorious Lord’s Cricket ground on Tuesday to celebrate the wonderful and transformational partnership between Deutsche Bank and the blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia.
But this was no ordinary champagne supping evening of back-slapping appreciation. The room was brought to life by four fabulous sporting stars, some with a very special connection with the charity and all willing to spare their time to chat and enthral the room with their unique experiences.
There was no mistaking the arrival of the first guest as Martin Johnson CBE, made his towering presence in the room felt, followed by Jonathan Trott the English cricketer, Geoff Thomas, ex-Crystal Palace, Wolves and England footballer and leukaemia survivor (more on this later!) and the star guest of the evening – Gareth Southgate, England Football Team Manager.
But before we were treated to their intriguing anecdotes, the evening began with two rousing speeches from the medical world from Sir John Bell, Canadian geneticist and Regius Chair of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and Professor Charlie Craddock CBE, Academic Director of the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to discuss their work in the fight against Leukaemia.
Whilst the evening was naturally intended to raise a glass and celebrate the wonderful support Deutsche Bank has afforded Cure Leukaemia over their 2 year partnership, raising in excess of £2m for the charity, the analysis of the current medical landscape left us in no doubt that firstly the UK is a hotbed and global leader in life sciences and healthcare development BUT there is still much work to be done to achieve the charity’s goal of eradicating blood cancer in 15 years’ time. The success which has been paramount in the charity achieving a national status and the funding of 12 Clinical Trial Centres across the UK in 2020, will come to an end in 2019 so the search is on for a new partner to continue the success in 2020 and beyond!
We laughed and enjoyed the tales and antics of our sporting guests, but none were more moving than the story of Geoff Thomas. The ex-England and Crystal Palace footballer is a leukaemia survivor, and the whole reason we were sitting in the room on this special night, with Deutsche Bank, their guests, and numerous other survivors treated by Professor Charlie Craddock and his Cure Leukaemia team was because of him. Following his treatment for leukaemia and finally going into remission in 2005, Geoff vowed to dedicate his life to raising funds for the charity and since that day has completed 3 ‘One Day Ahead’ challenges, cycling the Tour de France route one day ahead of the professionals to raise money for the charity.
In 2020, 15 years after his remission, he will embark on the challenge again – and for the last time – with a group of 22 non-professional riders to raise over £1,000,000. The GT15 Challenge is looking for sponsors and brands to be part of this amazing journey. And all through 2020 Cure Leukaemia will be running, rowing, kicking, cycling and basically doing bloody great events to raise vital funds and support Geoff and the team.
So we raised our glasses in celebration of a fabulous partnership with Deutsche Bank and Cure Leukaemia – and a fabulous athlete and man in Geoff Thomas and wish him all the best in his epic challenge next year.
If you want to get involved and help support the charity or the challenge in some way, contact us and we’ll get you in touch with the Cure Leukaemia Team.