Making blood cancer visible

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Would you be able to tell if you had blood cancer?

Every day, 104 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer. Yet few know the symptoms or types (there are 137 different blood cancers), so when it is detected, it’s often later on – or too late.

We need to #MakeBloodCancerVisible.

So as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Janssen’s Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign, we teamed up with acclaimed designer Paul Cocksedge to create a striking and thought-provoking piece. Located in the heart of London, you can’t walk by without it catching your eye.

The installation comprises the names of 104 real people with blood cancer, brought together in a common crowd of shared experience. Each sculpture, perfectly sized to match its namesake’s height, tells a story of shock, sadness – but ultimately hope and determination.

We were lucky to meet the real people behind the names at the launch event on 4 September, probably the most rewarding part of the whole process. They came from all over the UK and were thrilled with the installation; some even wanted to take their names home.

Brett one of the people in the installation said: “The installation is a great initiative, as it reflects the fact that blood cancers affect so many people, young and old alike. I feel privileged to still be here with my young family, thanks to the great care that I received. I hope that those who have not been so fortunate, some of whom we have met along our journey may also be remembered as part of this, and that through research we may in future achieve a world where everyone may survive blood cancer, and where treatments are less harsh. By increasing awareness of blood cancers we can all play a part in achieving this.”

As well as the physical installation, online sharing with the hashtag #MakeBloodCancerVisible has helped the stories reach thousands.

With this stunning, accessible campaign, we hope we can raise awareness and understanding in the wider public. We hope that, with this installation, we can really save lives.

The installation is in Paternoster Square, London, from 4 to 30 September and is also part of London Design Festival. Check it out if you have the chance!

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