The Christian Blandford Fund – a 13 year old’s perspective

Claudia received an email recently from the lovely Lucy Docherty. 

Hi Claudia,

Its Lucy here. I have attached to this email a piece of English work I had to complete for school, because Mum thought you might like to read it.

We had to do a speech using persuasive and emotive language, and I thought Christian’s inspiringstory of his brave battle against cancer should be the main point of my speech, to persuade people to raise money and support the cause.

I performed it in class today and received an A*, I hope you enjoy reading what I have come up with!

Thank you,

Lucy Docherty

We think Lucy deserved the A*, in fact we thought it was so good we would share it on our site…

You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories. I stand here today, to tell you the story of Christian Blandford. Christian was a brave kind young boy and has touched many, and will continue to do so. Christian Blanford has been though cancer twice. He was diagnosed with a clear cell sarcoma of the kidney, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, in January 2005 when he was just 18 months old. After a grueling year of treatment, he was given the all clear but unfortunately relapsed in November 2006 when the cancer spread to a bone in his leg. His second round of surgery, chemo and radiotherapy in 2007 was even more intensive and demanding than the first. The term leukemia refers to cancers of the white blood cells.

Every bodily cell is tightly regulated with respect to growth, interaction with other cells and even its life span. Cancer occurs when a type of cell has lost these normal control mechanisms and grows in a way that the body can no longer regulate. When someone has leukemia, these abnormal white blood cells crowd the bone marrow and flood the bloodstream. As it progresses, the cancer interferes with the body’s production of other types of cells.

Leukemia accounts for 30% of all childhood cancers and usually the chances for cure are very good. With treatment, most children with leukemia will be free of the disease without it coming back. However, the world is not a wish-granting factory, and this was not the case for Christian, who battled hard throughout his life.

How would you feel if the person that was affected that was your son? Your daughter? Your best friend?  Your brother?  Your sister? Your father?  Your mother? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your grandma? Your grandpa? Your aunty? Your uncle? The connections people have with each other are endless, and all it takes is the loss of one to smash this love to pieces.  The marks humans leave are too often scars.

This is what we must do. And as a human race, we must stop this dreadful disease. Not only is it life threatening, not only is it endlessly painful but it tears family and friends apart. That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt. Together, as a human race, we can stop this agony. We can do this, and we will do this.

 “The goal is to live a full productive life even with all that ambiguity. No matter what happens, whether the cancer flares up again or whether you die, the important thing is the days that you have had, you will have lived”

And that is exactly what Christian did. He knew the possibilities of survival were slight however he continued to be strong and battle hard against the cancer. Christian was still the same happy lively smiling boy he was before he had cancer, still determined. He surrounded himself with his loved ones who supported him all the way and this made Christian and everyone he was close too realize something. Grief does not change you, it reveals you. Cancer may cause loss of life and extreme devastation and agony, but cancer cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot destroy peace. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot suppress memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot steal eternal life. And it cannot conquer the spirit. On the 28th of September, Peter Blanford (Christians father) informed everyone about the recent news they had received.

“Last week Christian had a bone scan and a CT scan and the results came back today, he is clear of cancer! We’ve got a long way to go and he is still in danger from the treatment, his kidney function is still not what it should be, but we are obviously very relieved. There was a strange moment in the school car park when he started back at school. A whisper went around the crowds of parents and teachers when they saw Christian, and as he stood there, looking confused, a round of applause went up from everybody around him”.

Cancer affects so many children worldwide and their families and friends and all the love and care that surrounds them. These children who are affected might not ever have the opportunities that we all take for granted in our lifetime. They die in the middle of their life, in the middle of a sentence.

These very sick children may not be able to experience any of these things. Their future is uncertain, they may never be able to take on and appreciate the amazing opportunities that life gives us. Cancer is a dreadful disease that affects millions of people everywhere, but it does teach us to never ever take anything in our life for granted, for we are so much luckier than we seem.

The future of our nation and if we survive this disease does not just depend on the scientists or researchers, it depends on us. We are all we have, but all we need.

So let us trudge through the thick viscous mud of disease until our eyes fall upon the rising sun of our cure. Cancers guns are loaded, and we are the target. But we are ready. Ready to fight for victory. Victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. Victory. For without victory, there is no survival.

I would like you all to think for a moment about any relatives or friends or anyone that matters a lot to you that have been affected by cancer. Think of how much they mean to you. That is your reason to fight. Today we fight. Tomorrow we fight. And we will continue to do so until all this agony is ceased. Before it’s too late.  


Trustee of The Christian Blandford Fund
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