Cards for when "get well soon" doesn't quite cut it
We're thrilled to announced our partnership with artist Vicky Yorke, whose unique card designs and messages draw from her own experience of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) – with every purchase supporting life-saving blood cancer research.
Vicky always loved to draw, paint and create, having studied for a degree in illustration from The Arts Institute, Bournemouth, before working in-house creating designs for a variety of companies supplying stationery and homeware to the UK high street.
However, things changed when in 2010, Vicky became very ill with CML.
“I remember things being scary and uncertain. I was only in my mid-twenties and due to get married the next year. It was a lot to take on psychologically.”
- Vicky Yorke
Although Vicky tried to continue working, her illness eventually made this too difficult.
While she had to give up work, Vicky received a drug for CML as part of a clinical trial and as her health improved, Vicky decided to follow her dream by moving to the countryside and setting up a design business.
“My life might have gone down a different path if I hadn’t had CML. The blood cancer made it difficult to work full time as the treatment regime was very strict. It made working in an office environment hard.
"The journey since diagnosis has not always been easy but it’s rewarding. I’m able to be creative and work when I need to around my illness and treatment. I think that’s a real positive.”
Vicky finds a special way to support our work
“I wanted to do something like this for a long time." Vicky said. "I’m not a marathon runner, but I wanted to raise some money for Blood Cancer UK and give something back.
"I wouldn’t be here without research into this form of blood cancer, but we still don’t have a cure. Using my skills as a designer seemed the most obvious way I could help.”
Speaking about this partnership, Deputy Director of Fundraising, Rachel Calderon said: “The vision for these cards was that they should uplifting, yet honest and real. It was important that people affected by blood cancer led some of thinking around the designs.
"People affected by the disease widely agreed that the traditional 'get well soon' sentiments can be difficult for people affected by blood cancer, due to the long and often turbulent journey people experience. So, the workshop we held with Vicky and some of our community was great. They were open and honest about their feelings and experiences.”
Vicky said: “I had in my mind, how I felt when I was diagnosed and the messages I received. While well intentioned it didn’t always strike the right tone. Each card is a direct response to a preferred sentiment or story shared by someone in the workshop. Hearing from other people and understanding what they’re going through was sobering, and there were a lot of common themes. That’s where a lot of these ideas came from.
“It's interesting though that while the cards were inspired by people with blood cancer the sentiment is just as relevant to support friends and loved ones going through other illnesses and difficult life events.”
Every purchase supports our work
The final six designs are now available at our online shop, with every purchase supporting life-saving blood cancer research.