The Slovenia Times

English-Slovenian couple cycle for cancer patients

Health & Medicine

Alice and Žiga Erlač Shepherd, an English-Slovenian couple, will cycle from Maribor to Southampton and back to collect donations for cancer patients in Slovenia and England and to raise awareness about cancer and about the importance of expanding the registry of stem cell donors.

The couple launched the charity cycling campaign in Maribor on 3 August in collaboration with the Slovenian Association of Lymphoma and Leukaemia Patients, the UKC Maribor medical centre, and the British charities Anthony Nolan and Southampton Hospitals Charity.

The motivation behind their humanitarian initiative stems from Alice's father's experience, who lost his battle with blood cancer ten years ago.

Alice explained that her father had a rare form of bone marrow cancer and underwent treatment for nearly five years. His case was unique since it was uncommon for his age. Starting treatment in his mid-40s, he chose to participate in research treatment in Southampton and was able to get a blood and stem cell donor.

Alice stressed the vital importance of blood and stem cell donations. Statistically, transplant success is higher when the donor is between 16 and 30 years old. Therefore, all organisations strive to recruit young donors and encourage them to register.

UKC Maribor said the couple aim to equip six rooms at the hospital's oncology and haematology departments with stationary bikes and raise funds for a free comprehensive rehabilitation programme for patients with blood cancers. Such an approach enables patients to return to their lives more easily and quickly, with fewer complications and significantly improved quality of life.

Donations can be made through various means, such as credit card payments on the L&L Association's website, bank transfers to the account number SI56 0205 6025 6928 596 at NLB bank with the purpose note "Akcija kolesa UKC Maribor," or by texting "ZDRAV5" to the number 1919.


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