19 Mar 2014

From London to Morocco - thumbs up as hitchhiking pair give blood cancer the boot

Hitchhiking thumb 

Seasoned travellers Francesca Mason and Rebecca Anderson have travelled far and wide – from Europe to Asia and Australasia. The energetic pair, who met whilst working in the French Alps, often struggle to sit still. Which is why they have been busy planning their next exhilarating adventure - to walk, hitchhike, beg and borrow their way from London to Morocco.

To some, the idea of travelling 1,500 miles, purely on random acts of kindness from complete strangers would beg the question of sanity. Add in an element of fundraising into the mix, and it becomes quite a challenge.

Leaving the capital at the end of March, Francesca and Rebecca will be crossing the English Channel and no fewer than four countries, covering thousands of miles with food and shelter to find.

On the way, they’ll be calling on the generosity of strangers to help fulfil their fundraising mission – to raise £1,000 for blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Francesca explains the purpose of their fundraising mission: “We have a friend who suffered from lymphoma and survived thanks to research done by charities such as this one, and also we have a friend who recently lost a close and young friend to leukaemia. Although treatment of blood cancers have progressed over the years, there are still people dying from the more severe forms of these conditions. We’d like to be a part of the research that will one day eradicate even the most severe forms of blood cancer.”

Beating blood cancers

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research was founded in 1960 following the death of a six-year old girl, Susan Eastwood, from leukaemia. Determined to create something positive from their tragic loss, her parents started fundraising for research that would find a cure for leukaemia. The dedication of thousands of supporters across the country has seen the charity grow.

In the UK alone around 30,000 people are diagnosed with blood cancer, each year. However, thanks to research from the charity, today, more people than ever before are surviving blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

In 2012/13, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research invested £32 million into research into beating blood cancer. The funds ensured the running of clinical trials, designed to help scientists develop new treatments that prevent and relieve the symptoms of blood cancer, as well as control the side effects associated with different medications.

The charity has a fundraising target of £100 million over the next five years – funds that are vital if they are to continue their life-saving research into better diagnosis, treatments and cures for all those with blood cancers.

Gives the most to charity

For Francesca there was no doubt as to which fundraising website to choose. She said: “We chose MyDonate. It was an easy one – they give the most to charity.”

Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “Every penny raised helps us in our mission to beat blood cancer, by stopping people from dying and making patients’ lives better. We wish Francesca and Rebecca the very best of luck and hope their adventure from London to Morocco goes well.”

You can support Francesca and Becca’s mission on their fundraising page.

Find out how Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is fighting blood cancer.





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