In June 2016, I was elected as the Chairman of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer.
I am honoured to chair this group, and looking forward to continuing to promote awareness of blood cancer, and highlight the needs of patients and their families with other MPs, the Government, as well as NHS and charity stakeholders.
The group will bring together MPs and members of the House of Lords, as well as experts on blood cancer from the charity Bloodwise, who I have been pleased to work with previously.
Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. This is a personal issue for me as well, as I lost my own mother to acute myeloid leukaemia a few years ago.
There are currently 230,000 people in the UK living with blood cancers, which include leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Research from Bloodwise has shown that public awareness of blood cancer is low and that patients often feel isolated and believe these cancers are seen as ‘separate’ from other cancers. Bloodwise will provide secretarial support to the newly-founded Group.
All-Party Parliamentary Groups are cross-party groups which can comprise of MPs and members of the House of Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.