15 Jan Bright Red Chairman Speaks of Pride at Regional Growth
Chairman Mark Thompson first became close to Bright Red many years ago when his wife suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Since his initial involvement, he has shaped Bright Red – from its infancy as a small regional charity, to what it is today.
Mark Thompson says: “I was invited to become a trustee of the former charity Marrow Stem Cell Transplant (now Bright Red). I became chairman, when the previous chair retired. We decided to take it from an entirely research focused charity, into a charity that was also for the benefit of medical staff, education and patient care.”
Bright Red was established in 1988 to support haematology treatment and research within the north of England, but we have continued to grow and won’t stop. We have helped to further develop research in local academic institutions; assisted with the education and training of healthcare professionals; and aimed to improve patient care, by giving support to patients, their families and carers.
Mark adds: “Bright Red are well respected within the region, across the Northern business community and the hospital trusts. It was established within one hospital to support nurses – and now we have expanded within the Northern region.”
The region is now the second largest bone marrow transplant centre within the UK, treating an increasing number of patients from outside the area. These patients choose to come to the north of England due to the high standard of care and number of specialists in the region.
“I have a lot of pride and a huge sense of achievement for supporting Bright Red. It’s not a faceless charity – like national renowned charities. Bright Red has a real impact on local people. You recognise progress when friends who have never been touched by blood cancer want to support as well.”
To this day, Mark highlights that his biggest charitable achievement is working with “the great people, both from the hospitals and other trustees, in a joint effort to establish Bright Red as a respected Charity.” He has supported Bright Red from its infancy as a small regional charity, to what it is today – which is far better engaged and recognised across the North East and Cumbria.