May 7: Wey Kayak Club

May 6th            #ourHenry             @WeyKayak

During the difficult, turbulent years of his GCSEs, Henry found friends, fun, frolics and a steely, competitive edge on the banks of the River Wey. In just two years, what started as a gentle leisure pursuit has become an obsession as he has progressed from relative beginner to competing in national events and being invited to train with the GB squad for his age group. To say Henry loves kayaking would be a tremendous understatement!

All of Henry’s achievements in the sport and, more importantly, his enjoyment and enhanced physical, social and mental well-being wouldn’t be possible without the support and encouragement of Wey Kayak Club and its members.

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Henry, pictured 6th from the left, enjoying a paddle

Wey Kayak Club is one of the top kayak clubs in the country and caters for the needs of over 400 participants at all levels: from beginners to international level canoeists representing Great Britain at European Championships, World Championships, and Olympic Games. The Club has over thirty British Canoeing qualified coaches who cover a great range of abilities and are able to take enthusiasts from a beginner level all the way to the top. It is one of the most successful sporting organisations in Guildford and the surrounding area. A number of Wey members are involved in management of the sport at the national level and play an important role in the development of kayaking as a sport in England. Alongside their sporting endeavours, Wey also run numerous social events. Highlights of the social calendar include regular BBQs, the Christmas Dinner given in honour of the Commodore, and the traditional Boxing Day paddle to the Parrot Inn in Shalford.

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Wey Kayak Club also call a new multi-million pound, multi-functional and wheelchair-accessible complex their home. They share the Waterside Centre in Guildford, their home of over 30 years, with a number of other sporting and community groups.

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If you want to see, perhaps even try, try Kayaking for yourself – or encourage any youngsters along – then visit the Wey Kayak website for all the information you could need, including information about their Introductory Courses .

Read Henry’s story here.

#ourHenry

May 6: Why is Henry suffering?

May 6th         update          Save a life today

Henry is recovering (well, so far) from Aplastic anaemia, a life-threatening disease in which your bone marrow stops producing new blood cells at the same rate, resulting in deficits of all blood cell types. Without white blood cells and platelets, the body is at risk for infection and uncontrolled bleeding. Whilst not cancer, its effects are similar and its impact on patients and families are equally devastating. The treatment is harrowing and resembles that of cancer patients.

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What causes aplastic anaemia?

In the majority of cases, aplastic anaemia is an acquired disorder that develops at some stage in the person’s life. Several potential triggers for the development of aplastic anaemia have been identified, inclduing:

  • exposure to certain drugs – these include certain drugs to treat arthritis or an over active thyroid, some drugs used in psychiatry and a few antibiotics. The risk of aplastic anaemia resulting from taking these drugs is very small.
  • exposure to certain chemicals – there is a long list of chemicals which have been suspected of causing aplastic anaemia. The link between these chemicals and the incidence of aplastic anaemia is often very weak.
  • viruses – some patients diagnosed with aplastic anaemia have suffered a virus in the weeks prior to their diagnosis.
  • radiation exposure.

In many cases, the cause of aplastic anaemia remains unknown and with children it is often impossible to prove what caused the aplastic anaemia.

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What are the symptoms of aplastic anaemia?

In aplastic anaemia sufferers, their quantity of each blood cell type is much lower than normal. Fewer white blood cells will bring on unexplained infections. Fewer platelets bring about unexpected bleeding and fewer red blood cells cause fatigue. Other symptoms include:

  • Easy, unexplained bruising
  • Weakness, fatigue and tiredness
  • Fever
  • Nosebleeds and bleeding gums
  • Pale skin
  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Skin rashes

How is aplastic anaemia treated?

Treatment of aplastic anaemia can be lengthy and costly and because the disease is rare sufferers may not receive a high quality coordinated treatment or care. It may take a long time to get a diagnosis, all the while the patient is waiting not knowing what is going wrong with their body.

Treatment depends on several factors including the cause of the disease (if this can be identified), its severity, the person’s age and the general health of the patient. A bone marrow transplant from a healthy, matching donor will give Henry and other sufferers the best chance of a permanent recovery; however, Henry’s siblings WERE NOT a match. Luckily, after many months of waiting, a ‘match’ was found in Germany and a 22-year-old German chap – we call ‘Klaus’ – is expected in the country in early March. He was found on the DKMS register – information for which can be found here. Until then – and for the last four-five months, Henry has been receiving regular ‘supportive therapies’ by way of transfusions. See here for details of Henry’s current treatments.

How many peole have aplastic anaemia?

  • There are thought to be between 1 and 4 sufferers in every million people.
  • Just 125 people are diagnosed in the UK each year.
  • Those aged 10-20, and the elderly, are most affected.

 

Find out more about Aplastic Anaemia and the work of the AAT here.

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To read more about fundraising efforts on Henry’s behalf, or of the aplastic anaemia trust and Anthony Nolan Trust, please visit here.

May 5 (2): Good luck Mr Jones

May 5th (2)            #MiltonKeynes            #Southampton

Good luck, Mr Jones, on your double half-marathon weekend!

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It has been a pleasure knowing you.

 

 

Henry is one of the 75% of people with blood cancer, or a related disorder, who do not find a matching donor in their family.

YOU can help save a life today with Anthony Nolan or DKMS.

Donate to Henry’s chosen charities here.

May 5 (1): Swimathon … 1 week away

May 5th (1)            update            #Swimathon

Mr Place is raring to go! The Swimathon is only one week away!

This is what Henry thinks of Mr Place in his speedos …

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Fundraising from this will hopefully push the total near, or past, the £20’000 mark.

The event is being held from 0800 – when Miss Collington will start her 10km effort. Mr Jones is yet to give details of when he will be swimming. One suspects he is trying to blag out of it, perhaps using the 11th May as being the start of the cricket season as his excuse.

Supporters (and all other swimmers) are welcome from 0930. 

The following staff (aka LEGENDS!) are already confirmed swimmers on the day:

  • 1) Mrs Stiff (Music)
  • 2) Mr Bradshaw (PE)
  • 3) Miss Willmott (PE)
  • 4) Mr Fitzpatrick (Psychology)
  • 5) Mrs Thomas (Biology)
  • 6) Mrs Wane (LDC)
  • 7) Mrs Sutch (Junior School)
  • 8) Mrs Scanlon (school nurse)
  • 9) Mrs Tully (marathon legend)
  • 10) Mrs Secker-Barker (school office)
  • 11) Mrs Hetherington (school office)
  • 12) Mr and Mrs Hetherington’s two young children

Each of the 12 is aiming to swim at least 1k, which in the school pool is 73 lengths.

Exceptions being Miss Collington and Mr Jones who both plan to swim 10k which is 725 lengths of the school pool! WOWzers!!! And Mr Place who will do 2km+.

If you would like to dive-bomb into the fundraising effort – please let Mr Place know before Saturday 11th. If you don’t fancy making a splash, then volunteers and cheerleaders are highly sought after and will be VERY well sustained throughout the morning.

Volunteers are needed throughout the day to help with: Resuscitation, Setting up, Serving food, Counting lengths  , Taking pictures, Social media, Shouting, clapping, cheering and general merriment!  And other jobs not yet realised…

 

To read more about fundraising efforts on Henry’s behalf, or to donate to these two incredible charities, please visit our Giving 

Thank you all in advance for your support.

May 4: Swimathon news

May 4th            update            #Swimathon

So.

The bad news is that Mr Place and Mr Webb have officially measured the More House School pool length … and it is a measly 13.8m.

Therefore to break the 1km mark = 73 complete lengths!

That said, Miss Collington and Mr Jones need only do 725 lengths … happy days.

 

Read more about Henry, the charitable events, and how to donate to those worthy causes here.

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May 3: Henry update

May 3rd          Henry update           #AplasticAnaemia

Encouraging news from the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton where Henry has been undergoing chemotherapy and stem cell treatments:

As you know Henry was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia which is a rare disorder, where Henry’s bone marrow does produce enough blood cells and in Henry’s case – like with most – is of unknown cause. Standard treatment is chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant where the patient receives matched donor cells which will restore blood function and give the patient  new immune system. Henry received this in March and has been an inpatient since this time. Henry is close to being discharged this weekOnce discharged Henry will be seen regularly in our out-patient clinic; this will initially be twice weekly, or more often, and decrease in frequency as he recovers.

The recovery time for a donor bone marrow transplant is 12-18 months. The new immune system takes time to establish. The first 6 months is where patients are the most vulnerable to infections – these can be caused by bacteria, fungal and viruses. As Henry’s immune system is naive and we are also giving him immune suppressant medications, he is going to be vulnerable to infection. Henry’s ability to fight infection is impaired so it is important to reduce his risk and promptly treat infections as they occur.

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We usually recommend 3-4 months of time off school before a phased re-introduction to school. Energy levels and fatigue usually mean patients are not ready to go back to school before then. Plus it is important to minimise risk of infection by avoiding too many people and coughs, & colds and infectious disease like chicken pox and measles. Henry may not have immunity to such infections and will not be re-immunised until 12 months post-transplant. As Henry is less than 2 months from transplant, most patients would not be thinking about returning to school; however, Henry is very keen to feel part of school again, to see his peers and do some of his head boy duties; in principle, a safe and successful return to school can, with great care, be facilitated.

Henry needs to minimise his risk of infection so should mix with small groups of people, rather than large crowds. He should eat first, if eating at school, and should eat only freshly cooked foods (no reheating, high-risk foods, and takeaways). Henry will feel tired and fatigued, and recovery will take several months, so he should not Henry spendlong periods at school and should have access to somewhere he can rest. Henry needs to remain well hydrated so should have access to fresh water.

Great news, I hope you will agree.

Find out more about Aplastic Anaemia and the work of the AAT, visit here.

May 2: Forthcoming events

May 2nd           What’sComingUp?          Save a life today

 

Our Henry: Help us beat £20,000

We have multiple incredible physical challenges being undertaken by various staff members in a bid to smash the £20,000 target set when Henry was first diagnosed.

 

Saturday 11th May from 0800, More House School

S W I M A T H O N

Staff are hoping to swim a total of 40km in the school pool

Length of school pool is 13.8m

Total lengths = 2,898!!!

Miss Collington and Mr Jones will be completing 10km each. Mr Place and his motley crew of colleagues and supporters will be completing another 20km.

Spectators are welcome to join and cheer!

Breakfast, beverages and cakes served all day!

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Saturday 25th May

LONDON 2 BRIGHTON  C H A L L E N G E

Miss Collington, Mr Fitzpatrick and Mr Renton are taking on the brutal (and somewhat stupid) London to Brighton Ultra Marathon Challenge – a 65 mile trek from London, finishing in Brighton.  The catch: it has to be done in under 24 hours.

Mr Fitzpatrick, Miss Collington and Mr Renton not at all terrified …

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Ongoing – in April, May and June

THE  RUNNING  MAN

The invincible, the incredible, the quite mad Mr Jones from our boarding team has been quietly running for the cause having already completed:

Wimbledon Common half marathon

Coast half marathon

The (Unofficial) Frensham and Rowledge half marathon

Coming soon are:

Southampton half marathon (Sunday 5th May)

MK half marathon (Monday 6th May)

He is also hoping to complete further miles on the treadmill and by participating in park runs.

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Whilst Henry is making a slow recovery, he is still undergoing much treatment and support to ensure his long term health and wellbeing. The amount of money raised so far within our community is incredible and we hope you will again support this last term of fundraising efforts to smash the £20,000 target.

To donate:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/ourHenry