Delighted to say that I’ve officially raised over £10,000 for Leukaemia Care in celebration of reaching 10 years since my diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2008.
I decided on a £10,000 goal because I was marking 10 years since diagnosis. I came up with a variety of ideas to raise the total including a gig at the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, a sponsored 10-mile walk, an eBay auction for signed Big Finish scripts, a number of non-uniform events at schools and much more. You can see everything I got up to by searching #Kris10 on most social media platforms.
I’ve smashed the target, raising an amazing £11,284.73 – and that’s without adding the Gift Aid, a conservative estimate would be nearer £13,500.
The funds will go a long way to helping us ensure we can be there for anyone affected by a blood cancer diagnosis.
A HUGE thanks to everyone who played a part in my #Kris10 year, it was hard work but really worth it. Thank you. Kris
When I got up this morning, trending on my Twitter feed was the news that the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) superstar, Roman Reigns (real name Joe Anoa’i), was in remission from leukaemia. In was in October 2018, in front of a packed arena, holding the Universal Championship belt, that he told the world that he needed to take time away to face the disease.
Just five months later he’s back and we should be celebrating this. But some people aren’t. Some wrestling fans think this is a work. Just to bring you inside the business a little, a work is an act that manipulates an audience in order to elicit a desired response. This is not a work. And my first feeling toward the people who were saying this was to scoop them up, slam them down on the canvas and cover them for the 1-2-3.
But I won’t. You see, there’s a fundamental flaw in all of this, Roman’s remissions appears to be too good to be true. Looking great with all of his hair, five months after diagnosis doesn’t fit in with the traditional narrative of a blood cancer patient. Cancer doesn’t work like that, does it?
Actually, yes, some blood cancers do. I’ve had a similar type of blood cancer to Roman called CML for 11 years now. I take a small white tablet every morning called a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and it puts my leukaemia back in its box on a molecular level. I’ve had bad days where I’ve felt tired or a bit sick but I’ve carried on. I work full time in education and haven’t taken a day off sick through anything related to the leukaemia. It took me about 9 months to reach a haematological level of remission, in that my blood looked OK. It took 6 years to get to a molecular level of remission and now my leukaemia is pretty much undetectable. I’ve never lost my hair and I’ve never had traditional chemotherapy.
You see where I’m going with this? Roman is an elite athlete and it might surprise you that I’m not. We’ve both fought our leukaemia in our own way and in our own timeframe. But there is one thing that I guarantee will annoy any leukaemia patient who is in remission, that’s someone saying, “well, you don’t look sick!” Right now, that’s happening online. Can’t we celebrate Roman looking great and happy or would we prefer him hooked up to a drip, pushed out in a wheelchair? That’s our traditional view and if our traditional view has been upended, it isn’t a lie.
The treatment that has given Roman and me our lives back was hailed in 2001 by Time Magazine as the magic bullet for cancer. Times are changing, we’re the trailblazers and millions of people are now living because of that little white tablet. They aren’t having devastating does of chemotherapy and in most cases, after taking the tablet they are able to go to work or smash someone around in a wrestling ring. It’s still not perfect, some people get side effects from the drugs but as the treatment improves, so will the quality of life.
We’re winning this battle and if we can win this one, we can win other battles against cancer. So take the time out to celebrate this, think of a world where we could treat cancer with a tablet; isn’t that what we’ve been wishing for? I’m living proof. Roman Reigns is living proof and so are millions of patients across the world.
But, let’s not forget, and Roman knows this all too well, leukaemia can relapse. We’re all living on a knife edge from appointment to appointment. My appointments are six months apart and I still get nervous, I’m sure that I always will. It’s a strange way to live…but it’s better than the alternative.
If Roman wants to make an even bigger difference he’ll tell his story. He’ll educate people, in detail, on the journey that he’s been through and he’ll tell them why, after five months of being diagnosed with blood cancer, he looks fantastic. Give people even more hope and help them understand that whilst we are a long way from winning the war, we are fighting back.
Please share this, it’s a great opportunity to educate people on blood cancer which is the third biggest cancer killer behind lung and bowel cancer in the UK.
Kris is 43 years old and lives in Kidderminster with his wife and young son. He is a trustee for Leukaemia Care and to celebrate his 10 years of diagnosis he raised £10,000 for the charity. If you are a wrestling fan (or just someone interested in this story) and want to get involved with the charity and raise money, please visit https://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/support-and-information/latest-from-leukaemia-care/blog/wrestling-fundraising-ideas/
I suppose that I should have written this before I hit the target but it felt a little presumptuous.
I now struggle to find the words to convey the joy and relief I feel in hitting the £10,000 #Kris10 target for Leukaemia Care this morning. Thank you is a good start.
It’s taken nearly 11 months and it’s been really, really difficult. The walk and the recent Big Finish auction pushed us hard towards the line but there have been plenty of moment where I felt that I’d bitten off more than I can chew. It’s hard not to take things personally especially when the cause is something so personal. I’ve developed some thicker skin and a newfound appreciation for professional fundraisers. In fact, I just don’t know how they do it, it’s an incredible skill.
Nearly 11 years ago I was diagnosed with leukaemia but you know that story. The story now is about supporting people who are diagnosed with a blood cancer today, tomorrow, next week… Treatment options are improving and we’re making inroads into earlier diagnosis. There is a huge psychological impact on the patient after diagnosis and the emotional impact leaves lots of damage. Leukaemia Care do an incredible job supporting patients and families with the seismic shift a diagnosis brings and this money will make a difference.
Is there a better Christmas gift? We’ll save lives with this and given that you are reading this you are likely to have been part of this story and I genuinely can’t thank you enough for your support.
There’s always a long way to go; work like this will never end and our relentless commitment to making people’s lives better is worth it.
So, take the baton, run a marathon, jump out of a plane, fly down a zip wire or sit in a bath of beans. Go and write your own story. I’m done for now. It’s nap time. Happy Christmas.
Many fans of Doctor Who and Big Finish know who Kris Griffin. But just in case you aren’t aware of this talented individual, Kris is a marketing whiz who has turned his Doctor Who into his passion. He’s an expert at media management and social media and as such he’s helped Big Finish grow into the beloved company that we all love. According to David Richardson and Nick Briggs he is quite simply an invaluable member of the Big Finish team.
But that isn’t everything about Kris. 10 years ago, he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). After suffering from night sweats and hip pain, he visited his GP where a blood test revealed his leukaemia diagnosis.
This left the young Worcestershire man with one question. “Am I going to die?”
Kris said, “When you’re told you have a leukaemia, or a blood cancer, or some other terrible disease, you never forget what being told feels like. There’s a ringing in the ears, everything just drains out of you. You just feel like you’ve been punched, really hard, but you feel no pain.”
Now 43-years old, Kris is celebrating life with a £10,000 fundraising goal for Leukaemia Care. As a blood cancer charity trustee and a passionate campaigner, he continually works with fellow leukaemia patients across the UK seeking access to treatment.
Auction of Big Finish Doctor Who Scripts
To help meet this goal, Kris has convinced several of the actors, writers and directors of Big Finish’s most recent Doctor Who related stories to sign a copy of their scripts for an eBay charity auction.
There are several big names on these treasured documents including the greatly missed Sir John Hurt and Jacqueline Pearce in The War Doctor 2 – Infernal Devices, David Tennant and Catherine Tate in The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Death and the Queen, Tom Baker and Louise Jameson in Doctor Who – The Sons of Kaldor, Tom Baker and Lalla Ward in Doctor Who – The Thief of Karvenos, David Bradley in The First Doctor Adventures – The Invention of Death, Georgia Tennant in Jenny – Prisoner of the Ood, Paul McGann in Doctor Who – Ravenous – Sweet Salvation, Derek Jacobi and Jemma Redgrave in Unit – Cyber Reality – Master of the Worlds and Christopher Benjamin, Trevor Baxter and Dan Starkey in Jago and Litefoot and Strax – The Haunting
The full list of cast members and scripts is shown below. You can bid on these auctions at the following link:
Leukaemia Care is a national blood cancer support charity, committed to ensuring that anyone affected by blood cancer receives the right information, advice and support.
Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK today and the third largest cancer killer.
We provide a range of support services to patients and their carers including a helpline, nationwide support groups, patient and carer conferences, nurse education days, an informative website, cancer campaigning and advocacy and accredited cancer information and literature.
For more information, call 08088 010 444 or email email@example.com
The fundraising walk now has a new date, time and place. After the weather postponement of the canal walk, we’ve decided to change the route so we’ve got better facilities at the beginning, during and end of the walk.
It’s £10 to register, happy to collect this on the day but it would be useful to give me an indication if you are coming so we can keep an eye on numbers. If you fancy collecting some sponsorship too, I have some forms.
We’re now starting in Droitwich and it’s on the 25th November at 1000. I’ve just broken £5,000 so we’re halfway towards the £10,000 target.
Hope that you can come along and walk with me. Thanks, Kris
Kris was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), a form of blood cancer, at the age of 32.
Kris said, “After visiting my GP with symptoms such as night sweats and pain in my hip, a blood test went on to reveal a leukaemia diagnosis which had me asking the question, “Am I going to die?”
When you’re told you have a leukaemia, or a blood cancer, or some other terrible disease, you never forget what being told feels like. There’s a ringing in the ears, everything just drains out of you. You just feel like you’ve been punched, really hard, but you feel no pain.
Now ten years on, I’m a marketing expert, blood cancer charity trustee and a passionate campaigner working with fellow leukaemia patients across the world seeking access to treatment. I’m also a seasoned public speaker, I recently spoke at a training day for 40 West Midlands GPs to help them understand what a blood cancer diagnosis feels like from a patient perspective”.
The Cavern Club have kindly gifted the venue to Kris to help him reach his £10,000 fundraising goal. The gig is part of a year-long #Kris10 campaign.
Kris said, “As a huge fan of The Beatles, I was delighted when the Cavern agreed to let me use their venue for the night. I’m absolutely chuffed that another Liverpool band have agreed to headline the event – The Ambition are a band to watch out for”.
Kris’ gig is also being supported by vocal coach CeCe Sammy through her programme, “The Power of Muzik”. Artists from “The Power of Muzik” will form the rest of the bill which will be announced at a later date.
The Ambition are a Liverpool based pop group, they are inspired by acts such as The Vamps, The 1975, The Weeknd and Coldplay to name a few. Their debut single “THIRTY THOUSAND FEET” dropped on 31st August 2018 and has been well received. They have been invited into BBC Introducing 20th October 2018 to perform their new single live and to chat about their record.
The Ambition - Thirty Thousand Feet (Official Music Video) - YouTube
I’m absolutely gutted to write this but we’ve had to postpone the walk on Sunday. The Met Office has issued weather warnings for Worcester and after discussing this with the team at Leukaemia Care, we felt that proceeding would be taking an unnecessary risk given very heavy rainfall and 30mph gusts of wind.
We will find a new date and communicate this as soon as possible.
We’re really sorry. Hope that you understand and that our near-100 walkers and all the people who have supported this will stick with us and understand why we’ve made this really difficult decision.
It’s two weeks until the walk. We’re approaching 30 sign-ups for the day with more promises to come through. If each individual/family is able to raise £100 in sponsorship then we could raise nearly £2,000 toward the £10,000 total.
Easier said than done, right? Look, this fundraising lark is much more difficult than I could ever have imagined. Seriously, it’s caused sleepless nights. But it was never meant to be easy. £100 raised in sponsorship, £50, £25, whatever, is money that we have to work hard at. We have to ask friends, colleagues, family and tap into your networks. Without your support, we won’t ever hit that big target.
I’ve been living with leukaemia for 10 years and I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been through things that have been tough both mentally and physically. What I’ve learnt is that there are brilliant people out there diagnosing, treating and supporting people with the devastating diagnosis of a blood cancer. The money raised will be going right back into the system and ensure that we are even better at diagnosing and supporting.
I know it’s a pain and I recognise that asking for a charitable donation or sponsorship is completely awkward. There are 650 people diagnosed every year with my leukaemia (CML). Blood cancer is the third biggest cancer killer behind lung and bowel cancer. That moment of awkwardness could potentially save a life. That’s why I’m writing this and gritting my teeth through the awkwardness.
A picturesque canal walk set to raise funds for a Kidderminster man’s year of fundraising is looking for people of all ages to take part.
Kris Griffin is taking on a year of fundraising in celebration of reaching his 10-year anniversary since being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). All proceeds raised will be donated to Leukaemia Care, a national charity based in Worcester who support anyone affected by a blood cancer diagnosis.
The canal walk has been organised by Kris’ wife, Kelly Griffin, and will start and end at the Anchor Inn Pub on the Diglis Docks, with walkers following the 10-mile scenic route towards Droitwich and back again.
Kris said, “What can be better than a brisk 10-mile walk around the waterways of Worcestershire on a Sunday afternoon? The money we are raising is going to save lives and I’m sure we’ll have a blast doing it.
“The support that we’ve received so far has been really encouraging but we need more walkers, so dust off those walking shoes and join us.”
So far, Kris has raised over £4,000 of his £10,000 target, and with the walk coinciding with September’s Blood Cancer Awareness Month, he hopes to get ever closer to his goal whilst raising awareness of leukaemia. For the past two years, the charity has marked Blood Cancer Awareness Month with a month long #SpotLeukaemia campaign to highlight the signs and symptoms of leukaemia.
The walk will take place on Sunday 23rd September at 11am. Anyone wishing to take part in the walk can request a sponsorship form from Leukaemia Care by calling 01905 755 977 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.