Originally published in April 2003 icon
One person an hour is diagnosed with lymphoma in the UK
One person an hour is diagnosed with lymphoma in the UK. But, despite an incidence rate more than 60 per cent higher than Ieukaemia, lymphoma is nowhere near as well known, and the first time many people hear of it is on diagnosis.
It is always distressing to be told you have cancer, but when it is of a kind you have never heard of it can be difficult to know where to turn. That is why a group of patients and former patients got together to set up the Lymphoma Association in 1986. It was then, and still is, the only support organisation specialising in lymphoma, and provides confidential support and information for those living with lymphoma, their families, carers and friends.
The charity has expanded rapidly in the last few years and, with some 9,000 new cases of lymphoma being diagnosed in the UK every year, there is still plenty to do. Their services include Freephone helplines; patient literature, along with a library of books, videos and cassettes offering information on lymphomas, their treatments and how to cope; a national network of local support groups, telephone links to buddies with experiences of lymphoma, a quarterly newsletter and the fun and informative Young Person's Guide to Lymphoma booklet, featuring Purple Ronnie.
As Iymphoma is the most common cancer among the under 30s, the charity is busy developing an exciting new website (called LIFE) specifically for young people, to support its existing award-winning site. Although it will contain specific lymphoma-related information, it will also be of great use to young people affected by all forms of cancer.
TV presenter Gabby Logan and her husband Kenny Logan (Wasps and Scotland rugby union International) are acting as patrons. They will be promoting the new website with a number of key England and Scotland rugby players who have become involved with the Lymphoma Association in support of their colleague Chris Mallet, who is currently in remission from Hodgkin's disease.
An embryo of a website has been designed, but the charity wants to give all young people the chance to be involved in developing the content for the site "to give young cancer patients a voice". A nationwide competition to find a team of people to create a ground-breaking and informative website will be launched during Lymphatic Cancer Awareness Week (17th. to 24th. May). Five sponsors are also being sought to support the project, with a fee of 20,000 each over three years, in exchange for massive branding and publicity opportunities.
For those who'd like to help with other aspects of the charity's work, there is a full programme of events,including the popular annual Coast to Coast Bike Ride planned for June.
As Professor David C Linch from the Department of Haematology, University College London says: "The Lymphoma Association is a caring responsive charity, while also maintaining effective and efficient organisation. You can be assured that the Lymphoma Association team will always strive 'to go the extra mile' for you."
For confidential medical advice and support, call the Freephone helpline on 0808 808 5555 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
To find out more about the website competition, sponsorship and all fundraising events, call the fundraising hotline on 01296 619419. Website: http://www.lymphoma.org.uk.