June 2008 Archives

Time for a quick catch up

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It's blood and platelets today to help keep me going.

I am worn down and smatterings of rash-like internal bleeds on the surface of the skin indicate I need some urgent attention.

Everything that has been achieved this week fills me with a sense of enormous pride and I have even more good news to share with you all.

But first, I noticed there have been a few requests to find out how I am doing.

The honest answer is each week it just gets that bit harder and harder.

Victory at Westminster

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Ed Balls, Super Kali Mountford and Alan Johnson

I am delighted to tell you all that the campaign to get a compulsory talk to all second year 6th form students about blood, bone marrow and organ donation became one step closer to reality today.

Commitments have now been made from both our Secretaries of State for Health and Education, Alan Johnson and Ed Balls, that they are going to do everything they can to make this happen.

Thank you so much.

Britain will really lead the way in educating our young adults from this day forward.

I am absolutely thrilled and would again like to thank all of you wonderful readers for keeping up the pressure too. (Have a look at the video report below to see just how good the MP turn out was!)

Someone commented that this whole project, your determination to make this happen and the interactivity with all your parliamentary representatives, really restored a sense of democracy and being able to do something positive.

I could not agree more and it has been genuinely wonderful working with all of you on this.

I have to add too, how many people have cabinet ministers saying they have felt like they have been running your fan club for the past five weeks?!

Click here to watch Mr Balls, Mr Johnson and Ms Mountford - I think you will like it.

The results from today's unprecedented event at Westminster include:

1. Commitment to roll out the Give and Let Live Scheme to all 14/15-year-olds from September.

2. It's too short notice to begin a similar talk in a more adult context for 17/18-year-olds from this September. But colleges and schools will be written to to take part in voluntary events. I know many of you are already but here is a great chance for you to express your support for this initiative by writing to the top people.

3. If this proves successful, the talks can be developed and rolled out as part of the national curriculum for the following academic year.

4. Several MPs and cabinet ministers gave a blood sample and joined the Anthony Nolan Trust's bone marrow register.

5. Many more signed our petition and took away special packs explaining how to set up clinics in their own constituencies.

On general reflection I would say that was a success.

Once again massive thanks to Kali Mountford MP for making this all possible and legendary Huddersfield Examiner reporter Katie Campling who has worked so hard behind the scenes to pull this off.

Westminster to host a huge bone marrow drive

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This is an incredible coup for our campaign to educate all second year 6th form students about blood, bone marrow and organ donation.

On Wednesday afternoon all our MPs and staff who work within the complicated network surrounding the House of Lords and Commons, will be invited to attend a unique event in the Jubilee Room.


As far as I understand nothing on this scale, in this venue, has ever been done before.

Post transplant complications

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Thanks again for every single incredible comment that is being posted. I really want to reply to you all but I am just not capable of doing it.

I just want you to know I read them all in the morning, throughout the day, and often at night too.

My doctor, and excellent local medical team, was speaking to me about it yesterday and I said: “How can all these positive thoughts from all over the planet not be lifting my spirits?�

I think they all understood.

The morphine derivative is helping control my headache and cough. The ridiculous mumps-like swelling is also starting to subside.

More great news about the campaign is on the cards too. Will give you all the details for a major event in London either tomorrow or first thing on Monday.

This post is really for fellow 'post bone marrow transplanters'.

Falling back to my parents, family and loved ones

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We have been through quite a lot together now but I imagine for many of you this post will make for uncomfortable reading.

We have journeyed through the ups and downs of leukaemia, its treatments, living and dying.

There have been a few laughs in between the infertility, my fiancee leaving me, my skin crumbling off and the recent death sentence.

Lavish award ceremonies, outrageous media tarting and all of us being involved in a massive campaign that will hopefully benefit thousands of people around the world for years to come.

But a time comes when you have to be honest with yourself.

After last night's shenanigans it's time to sacrifice a bit more of my independence and move back in with my parents.

Adrian's Radio 5Live Interview

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Gary Lineker, legend

It's time to update everyone on the campaign.

My call again is to introduce a talk to all second year 6th form students about blood, bone marrow and organ donation.

That age is key because our young adults can make an informed decision about whether this is something they would like to help out with.

I'm in the media and let's face it - this is what happens at the moment.

A pretty toddler needs a match, or some ugly bugger like me hits the headlines, and maybe a couple of hundred people join the bone marrow register or donate blood - but then the issue fades.

Not good enough.

As we have all recently learnt there are over 16,000 people worldwide waiting for a bone marrow transplant. Without one they will die.

This campaign will change all that because I am convinced a steady stream of young adults will decide that donation, of all kinds, is something they want to be a part of.

First, the good news.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Education Secretary Ed Balls, sent a joint letter to me announcing that this talk will be rolled out nationally from September - but only for 14 to 15-year-olds.

That is fabulous.

But my message to the Government is please do not do this half-arsed. A second talk has to be part of the 6th form curriculum when people can choose to become donors if they so wish.

Please click here to sign sign the petition, spread it far and wide, and let's all keep the pressure up.

Sign up and maybe save a life

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YOU could become a lifesaver this week - by signing up as a bone marrow donor.

As part of Adrian's campaign to recruit more bone marrow donors to the register, the Examiner has arranged clinics where people can call in and sign up.

The first - organised with the Anthony Nolan Trust - will be held at Huddersfield Methodist Mission on Lord Street on Wednesday (June 18) from 2pm to 7pm.

Adrian is urging people to go along and sign up. "You have a wonderful and unique opportunity to save someone else's life, not just here in the UK, but anywhere on the planet.

“Over 16,000 people worldwide are waiting to find a bone marrow match. Without one these mothers, sisters, brothers, wives and husbands will die. With your help maybe they don't have to.

"I'm grateful for the incredible way everyone in Huddersfield has got behind the Examiner's campaign already."

Ben Hunter and Olie D'Albertanson

Every day is getting harder now.

I'm going to need some sort of hospital attention either today or tomorrow.

My eyes are struggling to read what I'm writing, the exhaustion brought on by the anaemia runs so deep and is seemingly insurmountable and finally I have started having, dull drawn-out headaches.

The last problem could be due to a number of reasons but I fear it is linked to the new drug Dasatinib which I started taking over the weekend.

My hands are shaking a little bit as I sip my glass of water and dread the impending number of tablets I've got to get into me.

My resting heart rate, writing this in bed, is over 115 beats a minute as it struggles to push the limited blood and oxygen supply around my body.

The good news is that on Friday my consultant prescribed some new antibiotics which have really helped clear my chest.

My croaky voice, you may have heard in the previous post, looks like it is improving.

Let's be honest - this is a dreadful, maybe even tragic, situation that I find myself in.

But every day checking the comments that are now flooding in from all over the world is such a support.

I am sorry that I am incapable of replying to you all but know that all your voices, often of complete strangers, wishing me, my family and friends well, is a mountain of comfort.

It's great being part of this global community and I suppose in many ways we are all in this together now. Sorry about that!

Again thank you to you all.

Have a look at what Ben and Olie are planning too.

Head funk

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In many ways this is an incredibly difficult post to write because I know it will raise hope that is misplaced.

Just before shopping with Carrie on Friday I got a phone call from the hospital.

More results had come back from my last bone marrow sample revealing why the Glivec drug or Imatinib had failed to work.

It also showed a drug from the same family, called Dasatinib, should be effective against my leukaemia.

They asked me to come in urgently, but as I had killer shoes, perfume and pizza to take care of, our little meeting had to wait.

Despite being in such difficult times I have even more good news to share with you all.

To round off an exceptional week Baldy's Blog has won another prestigious award.

I have been named as the Press Gazette's multi-media journalist of the year, at their regional press awards.

Click above to watch a video of my parents collecting the award. Actually brought a little tear to my eye.

In our industry this is a huge accolade and it's one I'm absolutely delighted to receive.

But this post is for my amazing sister Carrie.


I might be crumbling and fighting to stay alive but this has to go down as another incredible day.

Despite suggesting to you all that you 'watch this space' even I have to say I wasn't quite prepared for how well it all came together.

If you haven't already watch this!

I must confess to being a bit of a political geek and I always try and watch Prime Minister's Question Time. For the full version click here (It's around 15 minutes in).

For those of you who don't live in the UK it's basically a weekly meeting in the House of Commons where members of all our political parties have the opportunity to grill the Prime Minister on a range of subjects.

As you can see our campaign has now been highlighted at the highest level and I was personally referred to in the house by Gordon Brown.

It was bloody brilliant.

While all this was going on I was being driven down to the Sky News studios for an interview with the lovely Natasha Kaplinsky.


Watch me and Natasha chat here.


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I'm trying to fight it but my bone marrow is malfunctioning big time.

The campaign and the petition are flying (laters Forsyth) and this could be a very interesting week - watch this space.

As for me the disease is now starting to become more and more obvious.

My energy levels are terrible because I am not making enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around my body.

I can't focus and I'm noticeably more sluggish than I should be.

Getting up feels like I'm lying under a cover of rubble that needs strength I no longer have to lift from me.

But I still get up and I still keep going.

Fighting, campaigning and partying

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I am absolutely exhausted but it's worth it!

The campaign is going well and thousands of people have signed our petition - please keep signing if you haven't already and spread the word far and wide.

Kali Mountford MP phoned yesterday and said the plan is now to raise the matter in Parliament again this week, hopefully at Prime Minister's Question Time on Wednesday.

As a collective group the Huddersfield MPs are then looking at tabling a number of motions to keep the campaign on the Parliamentary agenda.

On a sillier note, I promise this is the last of these mildly amusing pictures courtesy of Liam in Liverpool (you didn't think a print journalist could do all the technical stuff on his own did you?)

Baldy Gladiator

He said I was like a pasty Maximus from Gladiator and it made me chuckle so hope you all like it.

Warning: This post contains footage from a night out in Huddersfield with the Examiner team.

Blaze of Glory - Check out party pictures!

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I have noticed there have been one or two requests to find out how I am feeling at the moment.

I reckon this just about sums it up.


This final shot taken from the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - not actual footage - sums up perfectly how I feel.

I can't beat this leukaemia but I can make a difference, I'm making the most of every breath I have left, I am spending time with some of the most wonderful friends and family anyone could ask to share their lives with; but more importantly I'm going down in style.

I wish I had never been hit with this disease and I wish I could have been cured.

Neither now apply, so all I can do is keep laughing, campaigning and say: “F*ck you cancer.�

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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