The city of Liverpool was the chosen destination for the Bpositive UK Adult ALL Patient group meeting. I had taken the megabus up to the North West city a day earlier in order to make the most of my time there. On the Monday I spent my day walking around the city centre and getting a feel for the place - and on a day which was marking the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, there was plenty of people about, showing their support for the tragic loss of life.
On the morning of the event, I found myself walking along the impressive Albert docks to the Jurys Inn hotel where our meeting would be held. After catching up with some fellow patients and also representatives from Hartley Taylor - it was soon time to start proceedings. In the audience we had a mixture of people connected to acute leukaemia such as; patients (both current and former) as well as relatives of patients and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS).
John Reeve, the Bpositive Secretary, began by introducing himself to the audience and explain the plan for the day. Then it was was turn to take to the floor to share my story and experiences. Throughout my talk, I felt the audience engaging and there were plenty of nodding heads - a sign I took that what i was saying was very much familiar to most of those listening. Shortly after my talk,
Nigel Russell, a Professor of Haematology at Nottingham University Hospital gave a very insightful account of the latest developments in stem cell transplants - which was met with a foray of questioning from the audience. It is probably fair to say we all learnt a lot from Nigel.
After lunch I took time to present the company branding of Bpositive. I ran the audience through the workings of our website as well as showing them how we've also reached the social media world through Facebook and Twitter. Again, the response was very positive and it was great to gauge to excitement and support from everyone, in particular the CNS representatives who were very keen to hear more about the Bpositive online community that we have integrated within our website.
The second guest speaker of the day was from Andrew McMillan, a Consultant Haematologist at Nottingham. Andrew delivered a fine talk regarding developments in chemotherapy - that once again really seemed to enlighten the audience, with Andrew being particularly adept at
translating any technical and scientific information into language that everyone in the room could easily understand.
A Q&A followed with our guest CNS representatives from the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Sarah Watmough and Elizabeth Dale handled questions fired at them from the audience - and gave great insight into the work that these fantastic people do on a day to day basis.
The day was wrapped up by John Reeve who informed the group of what our intentions are to push Bpositive forwards. We are in the process now of applying for charity registration which is the next big step for us - and until then we shall continue to spread the word about who we are, what we do and why we're here, hopefully generating more and more interest from supporters, patients, families etc and look forward to the next patient support group meeting later in the year.
Bpositive Support & Information blog
A mixture of insightful comments, posts and general 'blogging' from various Bpositive contributors