About The Forget-Me-Not Project
My name is Fiona Beaumont and I have been involved in fundraising for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research for over ten years. I am also a keen theatre-goer and have been working on The Forget-Me-Not Project for the past few years. I was inspired by a US-based initiative (see Links page), to combine the two interests and undertake a theatre-related project to raise funds for a charity which is very close to my heart.
Since the website was launched in October 2011 over £10,000 has been passed to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research via online auctions, plus another £600+ raised from sponsored events.
The Forget-Me-Not Project is dedicated to the memory of my younger sister, Sue, who died of Acute Myleoid Leukaemia in 1999 at the age of 30. Forever loved and missed...
Sue had been feeling under the weather for a few weeks in the summer of 1999 before she was diagnosed. At one point she thought she might have mumps. On 27th July she didn't feel well enough to go into work. When her husband returned home at lunchtime he found her very disorientated, pale and weak. He took her to their local hospital in Newport where they immediately admitted her. I received a phone call at home and was asked to come to the hospital straight away.
When I arrived they were making plans to transfer Sue to the specialist liver unit at Kings College Hospital in London. We were advised that her white blood cell count was very low and her liver was not functioning properly. Myself, my Mum and Sue's husband Julian got to spend a few minutes with her before she was sedated for the journey. She looked very jaundiced but was otherwise in great spirits. She joked about missing my birthday celebrations that weekend but making plans to hit the town in London instead when she got better.
She was admitted to the liver ICU unit in King's College where she was quickly diagnosed with multiple organ failure and placed on full life support. The diagnosis of Acute Myleoid Leukaemia followed a couple of days later. Despite the sterling efforts of the medical personnel at Kings, the disease was too far advanced for Sue to recover. She died on 5th August 1999, six months to the day after her 30th birthday.
According to the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research website: There are no specific symptoms of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and the condition can be confused with other common illnesses. In general AML develops very quickly and the symptoms appear over a matter of days or weeks.
AML is just one of a cluster of blood cancers and lymphomas which affect approx 32,000 adults and 7,000 children in the UK each year.
To honour the memory of my beautiful sister I would like to help raise awareness and reduce these numbers so that fewer families have to suffer a loss such as ours.
The Leukaemia Research Fund (as it was known until 2010) was set up in 1960 by David & Hilda Eastwood following the tragic death of their six-year-old daughter, Susan. Hilda came up with the idea of a Forget-Me-Not flower as a symbol of their love for their daughter. It remains the charity's emblem to this day and it seemed a fitting symbol to represent my project.
From its humble beginnings in 1960 when the disease was more or less incurable, the work of the LRF has helped to contribute to the fact that, 50 years on, more people than ever before are surviving blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. 90% of children now survive the most common form of childhood leukaemia and for adults the survival rate is as high as 70-80% for some forms of blood cancer. The sole aim of Bloodwise is to invest in research that most swiftly brings better treatments and cures for all patients.
Thank you for your interest and support.