Haematology Consultant receives support after own blood cancer diagnosis
Dr Salim Shafeek has dedicated much of his life to treating patients with different forms of blood cancer. But in a cruel twist of fate, he’s recently been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer himself.
Hearing the news, over 30 of his colleagues from Worcestershire Royal Hospital have sprung into action and arranged an 8-mile walk across the Malvern Hills to raise funds for charity Cure Leukaemia and in support of their colleague and friend.
Dr Shafeek who has worked at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust for 17 years said: “I am maintaining a positive mindset, something I have always urged my patients to do! It’s so touching that my colleagues are doing this walk in support of me and for a fantastic charity in Cure Leukaemia.”
The Clinical Director of Haematology and Oncology at the Trust was diagnosed with myeloma - a form of blood cancer - after having a scan for what he thought was merely back pain.
"It started with some pain in my back, an innocuous symptom as is often the case with blood cancers, so when I received the diagnosis it was a great shock to me and my family. After a swift diagnosis at Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust within 48 hours I was referred to the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham", added Dr Shafeek.
Dr Shafeek's diagnosis has led to a flood of support from his former patients, many of whom he's treated for the very same condition that he's been diagnosed with.
Steve Shaw from Malvern, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) almost exactly seven years ago and received his initial treatment from Dr Shafeek. He said: "Without Dr Shafeek I would not have been able to marry my partner, meet my grandchildren or escort my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day."
Dr Shafeek was the first consultant to treat former England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer Geoff Thomas, when he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2003 and this news has also come as a shock to Geoff: "He has helped so many patients over the years and I am sure every single one of them would want to wish him all the very best in his treatment and hopefully a full and swift recovery."