Charity recruits celebrity support as it looks to land £2m windfall

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A Birmingham charity could be in line for a £2m boost to its fundraising if it becomes the national partner of Deutsche Bank.

Cure Leukaemia is through to the final six charities set for consideration as Deutsche Bank’s National Charity Partner for 2018 & 2019. It is the only Birmingham-based charity in contention.

The partnership with the bank would be worth at least £2m over two years and would revolutionise the work conducted by Cure Leukaemia, which is led by co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE.

Members of staff at Deutsche Bank’s UK offices, based in London and Birmingham, have been voting for their chosen charity, with the deadline for votes to be casts running until Monday (October 16).

It has been spending the past few days rallying support for the charity.

It said: “By backing Cure Leukaemia, Deutsche Bank will be making a positive impact; helping hundreds of thousands of people live a better life today and avoid unnecessary suffering and death.”

It has also been wheeling out celebrity support for its efforts.

Glynn Purnell

One of those supporting the charity is TV chef Glynn Purnell, who is a trustee of the organisation.

Tour de France super-cyclist Chris Froome is another to lend his support as is long-time fundraiser former England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer Geoff Thomas, who has first-hand experience of the work done by the charity when he was diagnosed with the condition.

Michelin-starred Purnell kicked of the awareness campaign, hosting a live omelette challenge in front of Deutsche Bank employees.

He said: “I want to urge all of the staff at Deutsche Bank Birmingham to vote for Cure Leukaemia; come on guys, we need that vote!”

Thomas, a Cure Leukaemia Patron and who has recently returned from a gruelling 11,000km Three Tours Challenge to raise funds, said: “I was given just three months to live in 2003 when I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). Thankfully, due to the expert care of Professor Craddock and the brilliant team Cure Leukaemia supports at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, I was able to have a bone marrow transplant from my sister Kay and I have been in remission since 2005.

“I was one of the lucky ones and I remember many who lost their battles and that’s why I’m determined to help Cure Leukaemia secure this transformational partnership. Riding the Three Tours was incredibly tough but my biggest challenge is taking place right now.”

Should Cure Leukaemia be successful it aims to use the funds to enable it to reach further across the UK, covering a catchment area of 20 million people, meaning thousands of blood cancer patients would have access to pioneering and potentially life-saving treatments for the disease that are currently not available through standard care.

“Not only would the partnership save thousands of lives it would also hasten global progress towards eradicating all forms of blood cancer within 25 years. This is the time for curing blood cancer and I would like to urge Deutsche Bank’s staff to back Cure Leukaemia and help make what was once a dream, a reality,” added Thomas.

Chris Froome added: “Completing the Tour de France and Vuelta double has been the most challenging few months in my cycling career. I am therefore in awe of what Hayden, Geoff, Doug and James have achieved in completing the 3 Tours Challenge. To ride all three grand tours in the same year is truly remarkable for a professional let alone a team of amateurs and to also raise £250,000 for Cure Leukaemia at the same time means they deserve the recognition of the whole sporting world.

“I would like to personally congratulate the 3 Tours Challenge team on their amazing achievement and as I lost my mother to blood cancer I would urge people to support their fundraising efforts in the coming weeks and months. Chapeau!”

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