I’m still fighting to promote blood cancer awareness

Henry Smith Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley SUS-170205-071055001
Henry Smith Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley SUS-170205-071055001
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At one minute past midnight on Wednesday 3rd May, Parliament is dissolved and all MPs cease holding their position.

It’s been my privilege to serve our town in the House of Commons over the last seven years, and I’m standing for re-election on Thursday 8th June as the Conservative Party Candidate to be Member of Parliament for Crawley.

While Parliament has dissolved and there are no MPs, I’m still on hand to assist, please feel free to contact me either by email: henry.smith@crawleyconservatives.org.uk or call: 01293 934554.

I have chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer since its founding last June. In this role I have worked closely with the charity Bloodwise, and liaised with medical professionals, Government ministers as well as patients and their support groups.

This is an issue which has affected my own family and others in Crawley, I’m grateful to those who have contacted me to outline their own experiences.

Locally, the Mark Henry Archer Tribute Fund at Bloodwise undertakes vital work in raising awareness of blood cancer.

The Fund was set up by Jayne Archer, in memory of her late husband, Mark, who lost his battle with lymphoma in 2010.

It is organisations like this which can make a real difference in highlighting blood cancer, of which there are 137 different types.

Combined, they make up the fifth most common cancers in the UK, and the third biggest cancer killer.

However, these alarming statistics do not reflect current levels of awareness in the disease. Ahead of the general election being called, the Group commenced its inaugural inquiry, on blood cancer care in the NHS in England.

There are around 230,000 people in the UK living with blood cancers, which include leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Bloodwise research has shown that public awareness of blood cancer is low and that these cancers are seen as ‘separate’ from other cancers.

This is a cause I raised with Theresa May in Prime Minister’s Questions in March, and one which I hope will continue to be pursued in the next parliament if I am fortunate to be re-elected as Crawley’s MP.