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Peter’s friends team up to help Bloodwise

A Wokingham Dad has inspired colleagues to help raise funds for blood cancer research charity Bloodwise.

Peter McSweeny, who governs new IT projects for at UK Power Networks, said he was shocked to the core when his daughter Rachel, from Twyford, was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in September 2016, soon after her first child was born.

New mum Rachel’s courageous fight back to health prompted his colleagues in the information systems team to nominate Bloodwise for a company-wide charity day last Friday. Staff raised more than £1,800 from bake sales and a dress down day.

Peter said: “She was a new mum returning to work after maternity leave feeling quite unwell when tests reveals she had something seriously wrong with her.

“Lymphoma is desperately hard to detect. Tissue analysis from a swollen lymph node in her neck was needed to confirm it and by then it was far advanced.

“My daughter was given an eight out of 10 chance of surviving. She is now in remission and returned to work this month, but she has been through an awful lot.”

Bloodwise funds research into kinder and more effective treatment for blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The disease is the fifth most common cancer and the third biggest cancer killer, claiming the lives of more people each year than breast or prostate cancer.

Peter said: “My colleagues empathised with what our family had been through and realised this was a worthy charity for attention. I have a very supportive employer and supportive colleagues and I think people understand that it can happen to anyone and it’s pretty random.

Elaine Lieu, a colleague who nominated Bloodwise for a fundraising day, said: “We wanted to dedicate this fundraiser to Peter and his daughter.

“I worked in the same team as him, he’s a lovely man and we wanted to help. I was really happy this charity was selected.”

Hannah Little, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Bloodwise, said: “Thank you to all of the staff at UK Power Networks for raising a fantastic £1,800 for Bloodwise at their charity day.

“It is wonderful to see colleagues join together in support of Peter and his daughter Rachel, so we can fund the research that will lead to kinder and more effective treatments for adults and children with blood cancer.

“We are hugely grateful to all of the staff who took part to help us beat blood cancer sooner.”

To find out more about the charity visit the Bloodwise site, www.bloodwise.org.uk.

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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