Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stiliyan Petrov diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, the Premier League soccer club said on its website.

The diagnosis was confirmed by tests the 32-year-old midfielder underwent for a fever following last weekend’s loss at Arsenal.

“We expect to learn more about Stiliyan’s situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family,” the club said in a statement. “Stiliyan is cherished by many and he will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion.”

This story illustrates yet again the way in which Leukaemia, a disease which is often labeled as one which effects  the very young or the very old, can in fact strike at pretty much any time in an individuals life.

Of course we all wish Stiliyan all the best in his fight against his Leukaemia, but i also hope that the thousands of his fans who have already paid tribute to him on numerous sites may perhaps comsider popping a few quid in the direction of Leukaemia related charities such as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and the Anthony Nolan trust. These organisations ,and others like them, are at the very front line of helping to try and save the lives of Stiliyan and thousands like him around the world. To all the fans and supporters i would say " dedications and kind words will give comfort to the individual but your support for those charities fighting Leukaemia gives a chance of life to many!"

In 1960 when Leukaemia Research was founded by the Eastwood family after the tragic death of their daughter Susan, a childs chance of surviving Acute Leukaemia was 1 in 10.

Due to the advances made in treatment over the last 50 years almost 9 out of 10 children beat this disease....but they need YOUR support to continue their AMAZING work :-). Lets make it 10 out of 10..

Good luck Stiliyan :-).

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Would YOU like to help save the story of Shirley Nolan?

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I only ask because there is a lady in Leeds,UK named Elizabeth who is currently writing a script  for a planned film about the life of Shirley and the story of the Anthony Nolan Trust. She needs sponsors,people within the film industry etc to get her film onto the big screen.

This is a story that NEEDS telling. There are far too many fictional stories of heroism,sacrifice and ultimate victory through extreme adversity......this is a TRUE story, this story begs to be told to the public and Elizabeth is trying to do this....please help if you can :-)

Merry Christmas to you all!

Andy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Anne Diamond tells why Shirley Nolan Inspired her....

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Shirley Nolan - my inspiration

Shirley Nolan was the woman who most inspired me, particularly through my own years of campaigning to save babies' lives. She was gutsy, determined and brave, and she told me that family was everything and was worth fighting for, at all costs, even if you did get up people's noses!

You may not know her name at all, but if I were to mention her son's name, you will probably immediately know what she was about. He was Anthony Nolan, and she founded the internationally famous Bone Marrow Register whilst she was fighting for his life in the late 70's. She would love the fact that his name is better known nowadays than hers, and is still actively saving lives.

I met Shirley when she first came to Britain from Australia and was campaigning throughout the UK to try and find a bone marrow match for her little boy who was dying before our eyes, from a rare condition which could only be helped by a transplant. But none of his own family were a tissue match, and in those days there was no such thing as a register. The only transplants available were those within families. But Shirley was the sort of woman who embraced that as a challenge, and she took her campaign worldwide to try and find a match for Anthony, and a register for everyone who would ever need the same life saving operation. She brought Anthony with her from their home in Adelaide, and they set up housel in a converted army hut near Ashford in Kent, where he had to be kept in a sterilised bubble. He needed 24 hour nursing, but she spent every spare minute campaigning for funds to tissue type volunteers from all over the world. She demonstrated outside number ten downing street and Australia House with placards, and was even arrested and cautioned. It was at this point that I first interviewed her, and started to understand what a lioness she was.

Highly intelligent, desperate and above all, a loving mother who would rather die trying, than let her child waste away. I liked her immediately, and offered to do everything I could to help the cause though I was only a regional reporter at the time. But I joined the register, and was blood tested and tissue typed. At one point, many years later, I was quite excited when I was asked back for further tests because I may be a match for someone in need, though it didn't turn out to be. But Shirley Nolan had that effect on everyone - she was inspirational. Her compulsion, though, was often criticised as self-destructive, and there's no doubt it destroyed her marriage, but she soldiered on. Sadly, she couldn't save Anthony and his death became a national and international tragedy in 1979. But by then his Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust had 30,000 registered possible donors and 80 children on the waiting list for matches. At Anthony's funeral, a guard of honour was formed by the same policemen who had arrested Shirley in her early campaigning days. I never met Anthony. Few people could, as he had to live behind glass. But after his death, Shirley continued campaigning and this is when I got to know her a little better. She told me that nothing, absolutely nothing, was more important to her than her son and her own mother, to whom she was devoted.

"Family is the most important thing in life," she said. And she kept an urn of Anthony's ashes with her wherever she went. Later, I was sad to meet her after she'd been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and found it difficult to travel. It was her last visit to Britain, and she told me that flying was almost impossible because the Parkinson's made her arms move wildly, and she'd once struck a fellow passenger in the face! Her mum had also died by then, and she also carried an urn of her ashes, along with Anthony's.

I could sense she was losing the will to live that had made her such a dynamic force back in the 80s. She told me nothing else mattered now, except that the Register grow in strength. She said her perfect evening was spent in her living room at home, with two urns on the mantelpiece - that of her son's and her mum's. "They're with me all the time," she smiled. It didn't really surprise any of us who'd met her, that she chose to end her life, campaigning for euthanasia in Australia, and ultimately taking her own, alone and in a great deal of pain.

She was a terrifically strong force for good, even though she led a tragic life. Her campaigning saved so many lives. During the dark days after I lost my own son through cot death back in 1991, and while I was fighting for a life-saving campaign, I often thought of Shirley Nolan's ferocity and determination, and her steely strength often kept me going. Like her, my own campaign couldn't save my own child.

But there is much comfort from knowing that you've helped play a part in saving others. I thank Shirley for showing me how!


Anne Diamond.


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Can you Help Elizabeth Swan to research the story of Shirley Nolan?

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Elizabeth Swan is a nurse and upcoming writer who is currently doing some research for her planned book/film script about the life and achievements of Shirley Nolan OBE.

If you knew Shirley or have any insight into her life both pre and post the establishment of the Anthony Nolan Trust, please let me know and I will pass the information on to Elizabeth.

The idea of getting Shirley's story onto the big screen is one that I have had for many years, and with the commitment, ability and skill of Liz Swan the dream has come one step closer :-)

Please,please get in touch if you feel you can help with this project.

Cheers.Andy

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shirley Nolan Interview (1977).

This is a piece to camera that Shirley Nolan did in 1977,just 2 years before Anthony lost his battle with his Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome Illness.







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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Anthony Nolan !.Born 2nd December 1972,Adelaide,Australia


Well, having discovered that this little guy, who's existence on in world proved to be a catalyst for forming the Anthony Nolan Trust, is not,it seems,recorded in any online lists of "Famous and historic birthdays", i decided to mention it on my blog to make up for this.

Strange though, how people who sing,write songs or play sport seem to be held in such high public esteem and regard, and yet a small boy who suffered such terrible hardship, yet gave his mother the inspiration to form the worlds first international bone marrow donor register, is, for reasons best known to themselves,ommited from these "lists of famouspeople".

I appreciate that we live in a world that is obsessed with celebrity these days,you only have to switch on the TV to view masses of programmes with the word "celebrity" in their title, but isn't it only fair that we give recognition and due respect to those folk who may not be constantly in the public eye,but who have made a major impact none the less ?

Hopefully one of these "who was born on this day" sites will find this blog entry and amend their records,you never know :-).

Happy Birthday Anthony :-)