The Holland Family and Anthony Nolan

A great Saturday night last week for the Holland family. A familiar one and a new one for different reasons. Nikki and I have long supported the Anthony Nolan Trust – a charity that every year saves people’s lives. The charity stages the Daisy Ball at the Grosvenor House hotel each year – the daddy of London’s 5 star hotels. Big and large and proud on Park Lane and with the Great Room where so many comedians have crashed and burned, they should really erect a monument to us.

During the meal – the ‘celebrities’ are introduced to the audience which is always a slightly awkward moment for me – because in my head, I hear ‘who’ spreading through the room. And this year, Tom attended as well and he was introduced by Martin Bayfield as the true star of the Holland household and fair enough – I did write a book afterall…

Anthony Nolan is a remarkable charity. Everyone reading this blog today – if you or a loved one is unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a blood cancer (leukaemia) – then it is probable that a bone marrow transplant is required. Siblings and immediate family would be the first port of call and if their tissue is not suitable – then the patient will hope that a match and donor is waiting and ready on the Anthony Nolan register for their chance to live.

And each year – many people are alive because matches are made and clever medics do their thing and how wonderful this is.

As ever, the ball was a great success. Much money was raised and we left with a sense of our own good fortune and also the altruism that comes from doing the right thing.

And on the way home – a first because Tom drove us home. Yet to pass his test and with his sober dad in the passenger seat guiding him through London’s streets. Hyde Park Corner being a good one to chalk off!

And we got home safely – but then yesterday – something very familiar occurred.

In the mail I received a notice with a photograph of Tom’s car encroaching on a box junction. And just the small matter of a £195 levy but reduced to £65 if I paid early. How kind?

I can afford this tax but it still rankles and especially in the context of where we were going that evening and why. In such stark contrast to efforts of the Anthony Nolan trust and all that they do to raise money in order to save lives. Just a camera and a tax system for councils to milk motorists who are so captive and such sitting ducks.

I paid it of course.

And the moral of this tale…

Too many to list here – but if you are between 16 and 30 – do please visit Anthony Nolan to register your tissue. It is now as simple of spitting in to a tube and this might give you the opportunity to save someone’s life – and I cannot think of anything more life changing than that.

And if you are not in this bracket – please share this post with other people – because if it were you or your loved one…

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