Go Team Viking!

Those of you in the UK may have noticed that I seem to have caught the zeitgeist with my blog alias: recently, nobody can get enough of the Vikings! In large part this is due to a fantastic exhibition at the British Museum, which I was lucky enough to visit today and will write about separately. 

I recently spotted this in a cafe: 


Whatever Fraser Nelson thinks, that’s not the real Team Viking. The real Team Viking is Vikings Against Myeloma (VAM!) and I’m very excited to announce that there is a now a new member. 

Three weeks today, Emi the Determined will be running a half marathon in Vienna. Six weeks today, Lily the Intrepid will be running a half marathon in London (Richmond). I am both in awe and very touched that they are doing this. 

If you would like to sponsor them, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/teams/vikings and you can click through to their pages. 

The work that Myeloma UK does is so important to me that I almost don’t know where to start in explaining it to you. Given that they fund research (clinical trials) in the UK and engage with the NHS (NICE) on issues such as funding approval of new drugs, it’s not an exaggeration to say their work will directly affect the length of time I’m still around to entertain you all with this blog. But if the ‘find a cure’ goal seems so vast and expensive that your fiver won’t make a difference, there’s also a lot more they do which helps me and other myeloma patients in the here and now. I’ve already benefited hugely from the accessible information they provide: as a friend commented on reading an earlier post, ‘I hadn’t realised there is so much science involved’ and as a myeloma patient you need to absorb and navigate some very technical and continually evolving information. The MUK website has a whole section called ‘Myeloma TV’ with little video clips which I found very helpful during insomniac nights on my treatment the first time around. There is a phone line with specialist nurses Maggie and Ellen which myeloma patients and families can ring for specific advice about treatment and all the other issues we grapple with. They run Info Days where expert myeloma consultants come and talk to patients about the latest research: I attended one in November. And many other things besides: I will come back to this in future posts.

As there aren’t many people with myeloma in the UK, and the majority are over 65, there also aren’t many people fundraising. So the Viking contingent putting its hands in its pockets (do Vikings have pockets? hmm) can actually make a noticeable difference to funding.

Very excitingly, the collective VAM total is already nearing £1000. Thanks so much to those who have already donated. It’s absolutely heart-warming for me to see the donations coming in. I mean it when I say no amount is too small: I know there are many other causes out there and loads of you have already donated at least once to this cause. But do give some encouragement to these two fearsome running Viking ladies!

In other news, you’ll be glad to know I have been doing my bit for the sporting health of the nation this evening by going to the gym and swimming a bit, plus sitting in the jazuzzi and sauna. Mainly sitting in the jacuzzi and sauna.

Yours, with an inner glow,

Helga the Great