Spotlight on an ultra-rare illness – Aplastic Anaemia …
By Grazina, Aplastic Anaemia Trust Chief Executive Officer
4th March is the Aplastic Anaemia Awareness Day. To mark this day, the Aplastic Anaemia Trust launches its AATea Party, encouraging groups of supporters up and down the country to get together over a cuppa and cake, to raise awareness of this ultra-rare and life-threatening bone marrow failure in their local communities.
Armstrong Richardson has been one of our most committed corporate supporters over time – with a hugely energised team taking part in runs, walks, climbs, bakes – all in support of our charity. This passion comes from a deeply personal place – with the company founder sadly losing his battle with aplastic anaemia a number of years ago.
With thousands of pounds raised, Armstrong Richardson has not only helped us to stay committed to finding a cure that works for all, through vital research, but has also been instrumental in raising awareness of aplastic anaemia. This is so important, when the spotlight is on more widely known causes represented by larger charities.
We are hugely grateful for this fantastic support and hope it continues into the future.
What is Aplastic Anaemia?
Aplastic anaemia (AA) is a rare and serious condition that can be fatal. It can affect anyone – of any gender, of any age, living anywhere, but it peaks in the young (late teens/early adulthood) and the elderly (around 60 years). AA can be very severe, severe or non-severe.
In most cases, it is an auto-immune disorder, where the immune system attacks the stem cells – essential for making all the different type of blood cells. This results in a deficiency of the blood making cells and the consequent downstream effects of low blood counts, in all the cell types.
The three main blood cells are the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In aplastic anaemia, these blood cells are reduced and the stems cells in the bone marrow – replaced by fat cells. As a result, an individual cannot lead a normal life.
The Aplastic Anaemia Trust is the only organisation in the UK, in existence for over 30 years, dedicated to raising funds to enable research and providing much needed emotional and practical support as well as information to patients and their loved ones. Our community of patients and their families affected by AA has grown to over 1,600 today.
Awareness campaigns and the disease awareness day help us draw attention to the devastating effects of AA diagnosis on the individual and the entire family.
To find out more about aplastic anaemia and the work of the Aplastic Anaemia Trust, please visit the AAT’s website – www.theaat.org.uk