Charlotte gets her fingers green at Chelsea after pledging her birthday to Myeloma UK

Fundraising news, Patient stories // 22nd May 2018

Charlotte, 45, from Yorkshire, wanted to do something special for her birthday after losing both of her parents last December. Her mum, Margaret Derry, had been living with myeloma for just over three years. As a way to raise funds and celebrate both her parents, Charlotte decided to ask friends and family to donate to Myeloma UK in lieu of gifts for her birthday this year.

“We lost both our mum and our dad last December, so to be honest I didn’t really feel like celebrating much – it was more about getting through it this year without falling apart. But having a positive focus to help others really helped me get through – it has been so rewarding and I feel I’ve been shown so much love and compassion from friends that I haven’t missed birthday presents at all. Pledging my birthday has been far more enjoyable than I thought it would be!”

Charlotte is also planning on attending the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year to visit the Myeloma UK Garden.

“I have always wanted to go to the Chelsea flower show and when I read about the Myeloma UK Garden, and its focus on the family journey it just resonated so much with what we were experiencing.

“Myeloma has such a devastating impact on families and it’s so important to raise awareness to promote the understanding of and the complexities of the disease.”

Charlotte, her sister and her mum’s best friend were determined to find answers and work out how to care for both of their parents.

“Often I would look around the clinic waiting room and wonder how many people were able to access help and support from their families and how those who might not have that support were able to cope.

“We definitely saved mum’s life a few times because we picked up the symptoms of sepsis very early on – even when she felt she was OK. That’s just one example of how the information Myeloma UK provides is so helpful.”

Charlotte has also said that supporting the wide range of services provided by Myeloma UK is very important to her.

“The Infoline was exceptional – someone always answered or got back to you and the advice was very clear, balanced and supportive. A good alternative and complimentary to some of the more clinical advice you might receive in hospital.”



Pledging your birthday is a great way to help raise funds for Myeloma UK. To find out more please visit our Pledge Your Birthday page or contact our friendly Fundraising Team on or 0131 557 3332.