Volunteer highlight – Hannah Pearce

Well done to Hannah Pearce, our highlighted volunteer for this month!

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

This includes people who raise funds by taking part in organised events, helping at patient and family information events, and running local support groups.

We’re sharing Hannah’s story as a “thank you” to her and to all of you who give your time to us. 

When myeloma came into Hannahs life 

Hannah’s dad, Neil, was diagnosed with myeloma in 2017. It’s rare for close family members to develop myeloma, but in 2020, Hannah was also diagnosed. Hannah said: 

“No-one in our family had heard of myeloma before, and we were all gutted when dad was diagnosed. Our patriarch, our strength and stay, had a blood cancer that, although it could be treated, could not be cured. When I became unwell a few years later, I was repeatedly dismissed by doctors, but I knew there was a problem and persevered to get to the root of it. My heart sank when I was told I had the same condition as my dad, as I knew what it meant.” 

Getting involved in fundraising 

After her dad’s diagnosis in 2017, Hannah wanted to take action and do something to help. She decided to run the London Marathon the following year, raising more than £1,300 for Myeloma UK.  

Ever since then, Hannah’s family have been united in raising money to help fund research and raise awareness in the hope that other patients are diagnosed sooner. In 2021, Hannah and her stepsister, Jo, took on a virtual walk from John o’ Groats to Lands’ End, and tackled the distance over the course of several months. They both loved the experience and the feeling of helping through raising funds. 

In the same year, Hannah’s long-term partner Clyve ran the London Marathon, determined to keep the spotlight on myeloma. 
Following that, in 2023, just two years after her stem cell transplant, Hannah ran the Edinburgh Marathon with Clyve firmly by her side.  Between them, they raised £4,000 with this event alone. 

Speaking of her marathon running, Hannah added:  

“I’ve no plans to run any more marathons – it’s quite hard! But I’m 50 in 2024, so maybe…?!” 

When Hannah isn’t taking part in active challenges, she volunteers at the Duloe Ale and Cider Festival. They hold an annual event to support local charities and raise funds for their local recreational ground. After hearing about Hannah’s diagnosis in the press, the festival’s committee asked if she’d like Myeloma UK to be one of the charities they support in 2023 and raised £1,000 in donations for us. 

Talking about why she chooses to fundraise, Hannah said: 

“My dad has lived with myeloma for six years now, so raising funds for Myeloma UK is hugely important to me, to pay for research that will keep my dad and me alive for longer. I’m very supportive of the work that Myeloma UK does on early diagnosis as both myself and my dad were misdiagnosed for more than 12 months, and I don’t want anyone else to go through a similar experience.” 

Supporting other patients  

In September 2023, Hannah hosted an information stand at a patient and family event at Derriford Hospital. She met the former local Support Group Leader at the event and got talking about local support for patients and family members. Hannah said:   

“I enjoyed helping at the patient and family event and have now taken on the role of leader for Derriford Support Group. We had our first meeting in January 2024. I feel that I am achieving something by volunteering and that I can make a difference”. 

Thank you so much to Hannah for her fantastic fundraising and for providing a safe space for patients to come together and support each other.   

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

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