Volunteer highlight – Dr Judith Richardson  

Well done to Dr Judith Richardson, our highlighted volunteer! 

We’re very fortunate to have so many volunteers throughout the charity who give their time to support our work.   

This includes healthcare professionals who give their time to take part in working groups and steering committees, and people who raise funds by taking part in organised events. We’re sharing Judith’s story as a “thank you” to her and to all of you who give your time to us.  

Initial symptoms 

Judith is a GP based in Edinburgh who works mostly with students. In early 2012 Judith was training for a 10km race but was feeling very fatigued and struggling to improve her run times. She noticed that her feet looked swollen and, after referral to a specialist Renal Team, had tests which gave the diagnosis of myeloma. Judith had several rounds of chemotherapy, followed by high dose therapy and a stem cell transplant in 2013, and has been in remission since. 

Judith said:

“It would have been easy to ignore my initial symptoms, but I persisted with a referral as I recognised that something was wrong. In the past five years or so I’ve diagnosed two people with myeloma as a GP. It’s helped that I have been through the process and know what it’s like to receive a stem cell transplant in an isolation room. I understand how scary it can feel.”  

The importance of early diagnosis 

Following her diagnosis Judith continued to work as a GP and has helped to educate fellow professionals. She was delighted to join the Myeloma UK Early Diagnosis Steering Committee in 2021 and to be part of AL Amyloidosis and MGUS Working Groups.  

Judith said:

“I enjoy being involved in Committees and find it interesting and valuable work, especially when creating educational content.” 

Judith recorded a video for the Best Practice Show in 2022, which is the UK’s national event for general practice. In addition, she presented at the Royal College of GPs Annual Conference in 2023 and helped create content for the British Medical Journal Learning myeloma e-module.  

She added:

“I’m keen to champion the early diagnosis of myeloma and to bring both a GP perspective and the Scottish perspective to the table. I also want to support the use of new technology in educating health professionals.” 

Giving back  

Judith has also been an active fundraiser, and in 2019 took part in the London Marathon to raise funds for Myeloma UK.  

“I enjoyed the overall London Marathon experience but not the running itself! I prefer trail running so found it challenging to run on roads. Myeloma UK’s research has helped me to still be here today and I feel that I am giving back by fundraising. My family were better equipped to deal with my myeloma diagnosis through the excellent information they received too.”  

Thank you so much to Judith for being our highlighted volunteer!   

To find out more about volunteering with Myeloma UK, please email volunteering@myeloma.org.uk. 

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