About the Richard Thomas Leukaemia Fund

leukaemia charity video The Richard Thomas Leukaemia Fund(RTLF) was set up in memory of Richard Thomas who sadly lost his battle with the disease on 4th July 1997. An active sportsman, representing Loughborough University at rugby and playing both football and tennis as a junior, he was struck down with Leukaemia at the tender age of 22. He battled hard for 10 months, undergoing continuous hours of chemotherapy and few respite visits home from hospital.

He was cared for by a wonderful team of nurses at Northwick Park Hospital under the guidance of Dr Reid. Richard's stay in hospital was eased by visits of all his many friends from university, school and the rugby club. He is probably the only patient in the NHS to have a fully operating dart board in his hospital room!

The charity was set up in 1997 to raise money to fund research into the disease and to find a cure so that others do not have to suffer like Rich did. The money raised by charity funds both research into Leukaemia and the purchase of equipment at Northwick Park hospital, to make the stay of both relatives and patients more comfortable during treatment.

Friends of Richards have provided enormous support to the charity.

Richard Thomas playing rugby as a young boy Richard Thomas playing rugby as a young boy, click to enlarge.



Imperial College London

Dr Nicki Panoskaltsis, Nicki leads a team of researchers working on Leukaemia treatments
80% of the money raised by the charity is used to support the work of a leading research team, working under the direction of Dr Nicki Panaskaltsis. The team comprises of engineers, doctors and chemists who work together to create innovative ways of treating Leukaemia and ultimately to find a cure. The charity attends a briefing twice a year to hear about the great work that Nicki and the team are working on.

At the end of June 2011, we had the following update from Nicki:

1. Our work on the Making Blood was chosen as one of the "Big Ideas of the Future" by the Research Councils UK, a compendium of UK-based research which would have impact not only in the UK but also internationally in future. This compendium has political backing and was launched at the Houses of Parliament last week (Sakis and I were invited to attend) and, although it is not attached to funding, I think the stage is set for big funds from the research councils to come our way for this project! Sakis put the "Big Idea" in in my absence and you will see him featured on page 32 of the attached document.

2. One of our 2 oral presentations at the American Society of Hematology meeting last December has been chosen as one of the top 10 presentations at the meeting for blood transfusion! Here is the attached published assessment of the meeting from the U.S. perpective (published in the American Journal of Hematology) - we are number 4 in the list of top 10.

3. Our methods article for the Jove publication (which you are supporting) is being submitted today and we hope to have the filming done over the next few months.



Northwick Park Hospital

Major Leukaemia treating centre in North West London
Northwick Park Hospital has recently been granted recognition as one of the major Leukaemia treating centres in North West London. The Trust has committed to opening a new haemato-oncology ward at Northwick Park as a result of this new status.

Funds from the RTLF can be used for extras not covered in the refurbishment to make the stay for patients and families more comfortable. Some ideas are a larger family room, a common meeting room or coffee room, a library with books, DVDs, DVD player, laptops and internet access, to name but a few.

Richard Thomas Leukamia Fund at Northwick Park Hospital
One major goal could be to try to fund a new psychologist, specifically trained on the ward to work solely with patients who need help in dealing with their illnesses and their prolonged stay in hospital. This would cost in the region of £50,000 and is not the type of help that Northwick Park could access from the NHS.



Fundraising Targets Page » About Dr Nicki Panoskaltsis »

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