The cancer patient who became a cancer nurse

University adopts cancer charity for 2019.

To mark World Cancer Day, blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia announced it has been chosen as the University of Worcester’s Charity of the Year for 2019. As such, the charity will benefit from a number of staff-led initiatives throughout the year as well as awareness of Cure Leukaemia and the opportunities to raise funds for the charity amongst the 10,000 plus students at the University.

Cure Leukaemia was voted by staff as the University’s Charity of the Year following an annual call for nominations. The charity was put forward after staff heard about the remarkable story of University of Worcester Nursing graduate, 23-year-old Brooke Evans.

On October 8th 2018, Brooke started her career as a haematology nurse on ward 625 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, on the same floor in the building where she received life-saving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) five years previously.

It was while receiving treatment in 2014 that she first met Cure Leukaemia and began to share her story to raise awareness of the disease. Thanks to a clinical trial, made available thanks to funds raised for Cure Leukaemia, Brooke went into remission. From that moment on she has been a committed supporter of Cure Leukaemia raising thousands of pounds, promoting campaigns, racing Porsches, running half marathons and inspiring others to raise funds for the charity that helped save her life.

Despite her illness disrupting her school studies Brooke still pursued her dream of becoming a nurse as she began studying for a degree in Nursing at the University of Worcester in 2015.

During her training she went on placement at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust and also travelled to Tanzania to work in the paediatric oncology ward at Muhimbili National Hospital, an experience she described as “the best of my life”.

Brooke is always keen to support Cure Leukaemia wherever possible and has signed up to take part in the charity’s 300-mile bike ride from London to Paris from 12-15 September (which is Blood Cancer Awareness Month).

Brooke’s inspirational story has been captured beautifully in this short film produced by the University of Worcester. This can be viewed HERE.

Speaking about the partnership between the University and Cure Leukaemia, Brooke, from Redditch, said: “I am so happy that two organisations that have given me so much belief and confidence since my leukaemia diagnosis will be working together this year. It’s hard to see yourself as inspiring when you are living your life but when I look back on the journey I’ve had since 2013 I do feel proud to have reached my goal of becoming a nurse and helping others fight this horrible disease.”

“I would urge everyone at the University of Worcester to do what they can to support this wonderful charity that helped save my life and allowed me to realise my dream to help others beat this disease.

Cure Leukaemia’s Head of Corporate Partnerships, Jackie Kelly said: “We are very excited to be working with the University of Worcester this year. We have many fun, challenging and engaging events for staff and students to participate in and we look forward to developing close ties with the University going forward.

“At Cure Leukaemia we like to focus on the positive stories that our patients have to tell after overcoming blood cancer and Brooke’s story is one that drives us all on at the charity. World Cancer Day seemed the perfect day to share news of what we hope is a very successful partnership.”

Professor David Green CBE, the University of Worcester’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: ““Brooke is such an inspirational young woman and we are very proud of her achievements and passion to become such a wonderful nurse.

“We are delighted to be working with Cure Leukaemia this year. Our staff and students are always very committed to each Charity chosen as the University’s Charity of the Year, organising and taking part in a host of activities to raise as much money as possible. I am confident that they will once again pull out all the stops to help raise thousands of pounds for this very worthwhile charity.”