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Omaze x Blood Cancer UK Research Fund launched

19th Mar 2024 - Edward Pinches

Blood Cancer UK reveals that the money from their latest partnership with Omaze UK is their largest single donation to date. The money has now been invested into research via the Omaze x Blood Cancer UK Research Fund.

Simon Thomas meets Dr Ghorashian

Blood cancer researchers across the UK from the South to North West will benefit from the money. The research will look at new treatment approaches for people with myeloma, leukaemia and lymphoma - all types of blood cancer.

A man and a women in Blood Cancer UK lab coats smiling at the camera

Dr Ghorashian alongside Simon Thomas at the Zayed Centre for Research


Sky Sports and Soccer Saturday host, Simon Thomas who is also Blood Cancer UK’s President visited one of the projects at UCL to speak to Dr Sara Ghorashian. Simon Thomas talked of the loss of his first wife Gemma, to an aggressive form of blood cancer in 2017.

I don’t want any other family to go through the heartbreak and pain that my son and I went through when Gemma tragically passed away from blood cancer.

- President of Blood Cancer UK, Simon Thomas

Dr Ghorashian’s research has helped pioneer CAR-T therapy, a revolutionary treatment option for people with blood cancer. CAR-T therapy is the type of therapy, Alyssa who was present at the Omaze Yorkshire Farmhouse reveal, received.

It's hoped that CAR-T therapy could replace very intensive and toxic chemotherapy options, and reduce the rate of relapse in people post stem cell transplant.

- Dr Sara Ghorashian

Her new project made possible with the money from Omaze is looking into these therapies for children with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder, which can develop into the aggressive blood cancer acute myeloid leukaemia.

Female researcher showing a man things in a lab.

Sara also said: “This funding will allow the laboratory testing phase for this treatment in children with MDS. We need to understand more about the role of immune therapies in treating this rare disorder and this project will help us learn which approaches may work best in young people.

Speaking about the funding, Helen Rowntree, Chief Executive Officer of Blood Cancer UK, said: “Research in the last fifty years has improved the survival rates for people with blood cancer, but every death is one too many and there’s still work to be done. The support that both the Omaze and the blood cancer community have shown to raise this amount of money is outstanding. The significant scale of this donation means that we have been able to fund a wide range of projects all focused on developing kinder and less toxic treatments, giving hope to people with blood cancer.

The support that both the Omaze and the blood cancer community have shown to raise this amount of money is outstanding.

- Helen Rowntree, CEO of Blood Cancer UK

James Oakes from Omaze, said: “We’re absolutely delighted at the launch of the Omaze x Blood Cancer UK Research Fund. It's incredible to see the impact money raised from Omaze prize draws can make to our charity partners.

Omaze Yorkshire house

The Omaze Yorkshire farmhouse


“The work the researchers are doing at Blood Cancer UK is truly groundbreaking, and will help more people like young Alyssa, who made a big impression on everybody at our Yorkshire house when she joined us for the charity raise reveal last year - she is such an inspiration. We are very excited to see the progress made as a result of the fund in the coming months.”