Leaving a legacy to change lives – Deirdre’s story
Deirdre Collins tells us why she has chosen to leave a gift to Guy’s and St Thomas’ in her will.
I have been a patient at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Haematology Department since the start of the Millennium after being diagnosed with two rare blood disorders.
‘Thrombocythemia is a blood cancer. I have too many of one type of blood cell, specifically the platelets. This is putting me at high risk of having a stroke or other problems caused by blood clots. Myelodyplasia means that my platelets are not properly formed and are ‘immature’. These abnormal blood cells may lead on to another form of cancer.
‘My condition is regularly monitored at Guy’s and fortunately my results are mostly stable. At all my appointments, the doctors, nurses and office staff show real understanding and care for us patients and do all they can to make us feel at ease.
‘When I was given my diagnosis some years ago it was both frightening and lonely, and although this has passed it is still uncomfortable living with the impact on my life. So it is really helpful to know that the clinic has its own skilled counsellors with whom we can share our worries at any time.
‘A newsletter called MPN Voice keeps patients and their families up to date on research into these and other rare blood conditions. MPN Voice also gives details of occasional one-day conferences for patients and publishes helpful stories showing how people are living with these little-known health problems.
'We hear about the increasing number of individuals and groups who are climbing, running, abseiling or holding other events in order to raise money to help the research work to continue. Two of our haematology consultants first set the pace by daring to abseil down Guy’s Tower - a feat above and beyond the call of duty!
‘I have been privileged to see the ongoing research and patient care develop over the years around what are known as myelproliferative disorders. I have unwavering confidence in the people who are carrying out this pioneering work and I want to play a small part in ensuring that it grows and continues in the years ahead. I am leaving a gift in my will to the Guy’s and St Thomas’, directing it specifically to support this particular area of research.’
Leaving a gift in your will to Guy’s and St Thomas’ costs nothing now, and is a wonderful way to give something back, perhaps to acknowledge the treatment and care that you or a loved one received. Find out more about leaving a lasting gift like Deidre.
Lead photo: Deidre Collins and her Aunt Cath