HEALTH chiefs from Worcestershire Royal Hospital will walk more than eight miles across the Malvern Hills on Saturday, May 25 to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia in support of their colleague Dr Salim Shafeek.
More than 30 staff will don their walking boots in support of Dr Shafeek, the clinical director of Haematology and Oncology at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, who has recently been diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer and is receiving treatment at the Centre for Clinical Haematology at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Former patients and colleagues have understandably been shocked to hear this news and have rallied in support of the consultant who has worked at the hospital for 17 years. Staff and former patients wll raise funds in what is being called the ‘Rowan Ramble’ named after the Rowan Suite for haematology and oncology at the hospital.
Nurses from the Rowan who have worked alongside Dr Shafeek for many years said: “It was an immense shock to hear of Dr Shafeek’s diagnosis. He has dedicated so much of his life to looking after patients with blood cancer as well as active involvement in research and tireless support for his staff and colleagues. He is facing his treatment with strength and dignity and we admire him enormously.
“That is why we have decided to organise a mass participation walk in the beautiful Malvern Hills to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia, a charity that is driving forward new treatments for blood cancer by funded specialist research nurses to conduct pioneering clinical trials.
Dr Shafeek was the first consultant to treat former England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer Geoff Thomas when he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2003.
“I might not be here today if it was not for Dr Shafeek who quickly recognised the severity of my illness and referred me to Professor Charlie Craddock CBE in Birmingham,” Thomas said.
“He has helped so many patients over the years and I am sure every single one of them would want to wish him all the very best in his treatment and hopefully a full and swift recovery.
Steven Shaw, from Malvern, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) almost exactly seven years ago and received his initial treatment from Dr Shafeek and his team. Steve is a keen walker and will be joining the Rowan Ramble in May.
“If Dr Shafeek had not recommended me for a clinical trial in 2012 made available thanks to Cure Leukaemia I would not have been able to marry my partner Trish, meet my grandchildren Teddy, Charlie and Abby or escort my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.
Taking part in this walk is the very least I can do to support the brilliant clinical teams that saved my life and I wish Dr Shafeek the very best for his treatment,” he added.
Visit www.justgiving.com/companyteams/rowanramble for more.