DALAF, (The David Adams Leukaemia Appeal Fund), began 25 years ago following the sad death of David Adams from leukaemia at the young age of 38. His wife, Mandie, and he were so taken by the care he received from The Royal Marsden that they began their fundraising prior to his death, even including David doing a London to Bristol bike ride on a static bike in his isolation room at the hospital.
Mandie has continued this fundraising, and this year the charity marks its 25th Anniversary, which is a wonderful achievement and one to be celebrated. DALAF now runs many exciting annual events including two celebrity cricket matches, a golf day and the prestigious annual ball which is always held at a five star London Hotel. This year the theme is a Glittering Grace Ball and the ballroom at The Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel will be transformed into a winter wonderland spectacular. There are also many smaller local charity events; the very popular curry nights and theatrical evenings and carol singing at Paddington station amongst others.
Each year the charity brings cheer to the hospital’s Haemato-oncology Unit by funding the patients’ Christmas Party and in the Oak Centre for Children and Young People they provide prizes for all the children taking part in the popular annual Christmas Card Competition.
The goal is always to give people a fun experience at the events, whilst raising much needed funds, and with this ethos the charity has grown enormously since the early days. It has raised well over a million pounds thanks to loyal friends, supporters and a wonderfully dedicated voluntary committee. Mandie Adams McGuire received a richly deserved MBE from the Queen at Windsor Castle for her services to charity in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014.
DALAF has funded several research fellows, including the first research fellow Dr Bhawna Sirohi (who at that time worked at The Royal Marsden) who was recently awarded the UK’s highest academic honour of Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians.
In 2003, in recognition of DALAF’s support of The Royal Marsden, the hospital named their library The David Adams Nurses Library, which is part of The Royal Marsden School, an achievement of which Mandie is rightly proud.
More recently DALAF has helped fund the Centre for Molecular Pathology and supported the Translational Genomics Laboratory and the charity is currently involved with fundraising for new facilities at The Royal Marsden in Sutton for haemato-oncology patients.
DALAF’S ambitions for the years ahead include aiming to raise £200,000 to help fund these new, state-of-the-art haemato-oncology facilities. Patients with blood cancers require bespoke facilities specifically suited to their specialist clinical needs. The new unit will provide patients and staff with access to the latest medical equipment and technology, in an environment suited to their clinical needs; thereby ensuring patients receive the very best treatment and care.
If you would like to learn more about the David Adams Leukaemia Appeal Fund or become involved please visit www.davidadamsleukaemiaappeal.org Tel: 020 8891 2221.