September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Personally, I am all too aware of blood cancer and the impact it can have on a life, on a family.
However, there is a campaign with a hashtag to #MakeBloodCancerVisible. We are being asked to share our stories of living with blood cancer. Myeloma, my cancer, is classed as a blood cancer. About 222 people are diagnosed with it in Ireland each year. It does not feature in the most common cancers affecting men and women here in Ireland. It is classed as a rare cancer. The difficult with being diagnosed with a rare cancer is that there is very little out there on the cancer, very little other experiences to draw on, very few if any celebrities involved with the cancer and no fundraising on a grand scale.
My story is available here for anyone to read. I hope it has helped someone newly diagnosed with this rare cancer.
You can also read some stories about people living with Myeloma and other forms of blood cancer here.
The Irish Cancer Society is a great source of information. You can check them out on www.cancer.ie.
On September 27, Blood Cancer Awareness Month culminates with the first European Blood Cancer Policy Summit organized by Janssen and the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE). A distinct lack of awareness means that blood cancer is not prioritised at the EU level or by many national governments. This is resulting in severe gaps in healthcare delivery, such as delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, inadequate access to new, innovative treatments and proper care for the people who need it the most. Working together with ECIPE, Janssen hopes to start shaping that debate.
I for one welcome this news. I would hate to think that resources are not being put into research into a cure for Myeloma, because of a lack of awareness about the disease. Those of us living with Myeloma deserve attention, resources, and even a cure.
Please consider sharing my blog post and spreading the word about my rare cancer.
Oh and if you are eligible to give blood or any type of blood products, then please do.