Together we can.

Kelly Chadwick has been diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia
Kelly Chadwick has been diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia

Together we can cure leukemia and save millions of lives. Does this sound too bold of a statement to be true? Well, it isn’t. So keep reading to find out how you can contribute to making the impossible possible…

It’s 1:30am and I’m in in bed typing because I can’t seem to get the picture of slim little 15 year old Kelly Chadwick out of my head. Even as I type these words I feel myself begin to tear up at the enormity of the battle this poor young lass is facing, and her family too.

I’m not sure why I’ve been touched so much by this situation. But honestly I can’t get her out of my head. And every time I think about her, I fight hard not to let the tears flow out. But I usually fail.

Why do I feel such a strong bond with a girl ten years my junior who I’ve never met before?

I don’t know Kelly personally; the first time I’d heard of her was when I read about her story here from a Tweet sent by my close friend, Jade Lally a fellow field-event athlete. She made me aware of a real life, close-to-home issue recently surfaced in the sports world I love so much.

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So why the strong affinity?

We belong to the same club, Sale Harriers. She competes in the 100m and the long jump, my chosen events when I first started athletics at the age of 15. She is my little sister’s age, and is in the middle of her GCSE exams; she has her whole life ahead of her. I can picture her sat by the long jump pit, covered in oodles of soft, yellow SportCity sand, and us having a conversation about how her day went, how her last competition was, or what she ate for breakfast that morning. And then, ‘BANG!’ Cancer. I feel the need to protect her so she can keep on doing what she loves, win more medals, grow up to discover new interests, and fulfil all the ambitions her little 15 year old self (and future self) can dream!

Multiple strands of connection has made her closer and realer than one would imagine.

Take a moment to connect with Kelly now, to sense her vulnerabilities and to feel engaged with the enormity of her situation. Will you be part of a life-saving movement with the Anthony Nolan trust? By putting yourself on the register, you increase the pool of potential life-saving blood donors for stem cell treatment and bone marrow transplants. You may not be a match, but you could be. You may not be the one to save her life, but you could save another’s!

She is my little sister's age...she has her whole life ahead of her.
She is my little sister’s age…she has her whole life ahead of her.

If every eligible individual in the UK registered onto this list, it would be virtually impossible for us to not find a perfect match to save Kelly’s life.

It’s the same with so many other things in life. We must remember that what we need, we already have within us or around us!

The life-saving treatment that Kelly needs is literally in somebody’s blood! It is within us! You can be the cure.

Kelly desperately needs mixed-raced donors (her mum is black-British, whilst her dad is white-British).

Connection, togetherness, alliance, whatever you want to call it – that’s what creates resolution and brings about change, innovation and all the positive things in life. That’s why companies have so many different employees with so many different sets of expertise – even within the same area of expertise there are others with a more specialized knowledge within that. Yet there is collaboration. We are all different for a reason – diversity is not meant to create divergence, but convergence. Creative solutions happen because of the amalgamation of various fields of knowledge, skill and talent. The solution to Kelly’s life-threatening disease is diversity in one place. So please sign up to the Anthony Nolan register now so you can become that perfect match amongst a hopefully ever-growing population of life-saving donors. It takes only 5 minutes.

In the U.S., you can sign up to https://bethematch.org/ to save a life.

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Last year, Kelly won the under-15 bronze medal in the 100 metres at the world’s fourth biggest athletics event, the English Schools Athletics Championships.

In a recent MEN article, Kelly’s dad stated: “Training is on hold this year, which is really hard for her as she’s missing the English Schools Championships this weekend and she was aiming to work towards getting the qualifying time for the World Youth Championships next year – but the focus for now is just to save her life.”

When I told my little sister about this troubling situation, she cheekily asked, ‘Are you on the donor list?’ And (although I can’t stand needles) I responded with a resounding ‘Yes!’

I’m doing my part. What will you do?

In the end it should be about all of us together boldly stating and believing: ‘what we need, we have within us,’ and creating the motivation and impetus to be open-handed with each other – even strangers. If you have that life-saving stem cell within you, are you willing to withhold that from Kelly? You can change the world, cure the incurable, and save lives one diverse donation at a time! Together we can. Be the cure.

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