A group of staff who took part in the ‘Rowan Ramble’ over the Malvern Hills have raised a fantastic £12,000 for Cure Leukaemia in support of their colleague.
Dr Salim Shafeek, the Clinical Director of Haematology and Oncology at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, 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.
Dr Shafeek, who was the first consultant to treat former England footballer and now Cure Leukaemia patron Geoff Thomas back in 2003, has gone on to help so many more leukaemia patients during 17 years working at the hospital.
Those patients and Dr Shafeek’s colleagues have rallied round to support him since the diagnosis, and over 30 staff and patients took part in the walk in Malvern, named the ‘Rowan Ramble’, in recognition of the Rowan Suite for haematology and oncology at the hospital.
Emma Mayo said: “We wanted to join together to show our support for a very dear friend and colleague, who has dedicated so much of his time to looking after patients with cancer.
“Not only this, but Dr Shafeek is also actively involved in research to make further breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, yet also always finds time to support and care for his own staff and colleagues.
“He has accepted his diagnosis with the strength and dignity which we would probably all have expected of him, but we wanted to do something to show our feelings whilst also raising funds for Cure Leukaemia.
“So we all met up and decided to walk across the Malverns, from end to end, and had a fantastic day.
“We were thrilled that Dr Shafeek was able to come and see us all at the start, and we all send him our very best wishes as he continues to undergo treatment.”
Dr Shafeek admits that the efforts of his colleagues has given him a major boost as he continues to receive treatment.
“It was very touching that so many of my colleagues decided to take part in this walk to show their support for me but also raise vital funds for such a fantastic charity,” he said.
“Although my diagnosis came as a great shock to me and my family, I have been able to maintain a positive mindset and seeing my colleagues taking part in this challenge certainly gave me a boost.
“I was delighted to be able to make it to the start and wish them well as they headed out on the route across the Malvern Hills.
“The support I have received from so many people has been incredible, and that is helping me keep that positive outlook as I continue to receive treatment.”
The fundraising will also continue with two summer concerts being organised by June and Stuart King, both friends of Dr Shafeek.
The open-air events, at Old Road North in Kempsey in Worcester, feature music from violinist Shulha Oliver, and the Twangers String Band (Sunday only), with more musicians set to be announced.
The concerts take place on Saturday, August 31st and Sunday, September 1st, from 3.30pm-7pm (access from 2.30pm), with guests asked to bring their own picnic and chairs.
Price for £14 for adults, £10 for Under-12s, or £40 for a family of four.
For tickets telephone June on (01905) 820436 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.