SPORTS CLUBS across the region are digging deep to raise thousands of pounds for local blood cancer patients.
Cure Leukaemia is one step close to its £40,000 target thanks to the generosity of sports clubs and fans from across the West Midlands.
Warwickshire County Cricket Club donated £25,000 to the Birmingham-based charity’s ‘Just One More’ campaign, while Aston Villa and Birmingham City supporters are being urged to put their rivalry to one side and unite in support of the charity at tonight’s Second City derby.
Warwickshire CCC supported the campaign by donating Just One More pound from every ticket sold at the opening day of the recent Investec Ashes Test Match at Edgbaston.
But for local football fans, the charity hits closer to home – with former Villa captain, Stiliyan Petrov, now in remission from leukaemia and former Birmingham defender, Gary Ablett, loosing his life to the disease in 2012.
In both the build-up to and during the Capital One Cup third-round tie at Villa Park (which kicks-off 7.45pm), supporters of both teams are being asked to spare Just One More pound to help Cure Leukaemia save lives.
To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, the charity is aiming raise at least £40,000 to fund Just One More specialist research nurse to help deliver potentially lifesaving treatments to more local patients.
And by asking all sections of society – from businesses to schools, gyms to nurseries, community groups to the wider public – to devise creative fundraising ideas that will generate lots of ‘Just One More’ one pound donations, the charity hope to proves that small donations can make a big impact in bringing hope to blood cancer sufferers across the region.
James McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Cure Leukaemia, said the charity were ‘extremely grateful’ to the sports clubs’ support and donations.
Ahead of tonight’s game, he added: “As the great Bill Shankly once said, football can feel more serious than a matter of life and death and there is an awful lot riding on this game for both sets of players and fans.
“But it really is a matter of life and death for the Villa and Birmingham fans currently fighting for their lives at the Centre for Clinical Haematology, which is on the doorstep of both Villa Park and St Andrew’s.
“Although they will want their respective teams to win, they’re united in battling blood cancer on a daily basis and we hope all fans of both clubs can join forces on Tuesday and help us find a cure for this terrible, indiscriminate disease.”
Fans can get behind Just One More by texting VITC15 £1 to 70070 or by donating at http://bit.ly/1Y3yCiB
Cure Leukaemia can provide collection tins, stickers and posters and want to hear from anyone supporting the Just One More campaign during Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
Further information can be found by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0121 236 9202.