Mother’s Day tribute to cancer charity

“Without Cure Leukaemia my daughter would not be here.”

Jane Young, a 57-year-old IT manager from Birmingham, will be celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend with her 30-year-old daughter Lizzie Dean but back in 2016 that seemed very unlikely to be the case.

Five years ago, Lizzie Dean, who lives in Daventry and works as an engineer with Drive System Design, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and it was soon determined that she would require a stem cell transplant. The initial procedure was successful, but in the summer of 2016, Lizzie relapsed and her prospects were very bleak.

Centre for Clinical Haematology at the QE Hospital in Birmingham

Thankfully, Lizzie was placed on a world first clinical trial (called VIOLA) at Birmingham’s Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This trial was part funded by blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia and the results have been remarkable. Lizzie’s leukaemia is in remission, her chemotherapy has been stopped and she is almost back to living a normal life.

For Jane, this has felt nothing short of a miracle and she can’t wait to celebrate another Mother’s Day with her daughter. She said: “Without funds from Cure Leukaemia this live-saving chance for Lizzie would not have been available and she simply would not be here now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think how lucky we are to still have Lizzie in our lives and that’s why I do everything I can to help the charity.”

Jane is a Cure Leukaemia Champion, a committed group of volunteers who regularly go above and beyond for the charity, and she will be helping to share her story with cyclists taking part in Velo Birmingham & Midlands for Cure Leukaemia on Sunday May 12th. She continued: “The charity asked if I would give the cyclists a call during April to first and foremost thank them for fundraising but also to let them know how vital every penny raised for this charity can be. I still have my daughter because of Cure Leukaemia and I hope this helps encourage people to push that little bit further with their fundraising in the knowledge they could be saving a life in doing so.”

Lizzie, also a CL Champion, and a huge Birmingham City fan said: “I think it’s a lovely idea to involve mum in this way. I know she’s always keen to do everything to help the charity that have done so much for me over the years. I really hope it helps inspire the cyclists and encourages them to keep pushing with the fundraising.

“Just as my life was put on hold in 2014, my mum’s has too and she has been with me every step of the way with my partner Phil as well. She has done so much for me and I am really looking forward to celebrating another Mother’s Day with her this weekend.”

To join Cure Leukaemia’s Velo Birmingham & Midlands team and ride the 42-mile route email [email protected].

To sponsor Cure Leukaemia’s Velo Birmingham team click here and you can watch a video of Lizzie discussing her diagnosis and treatment here