Waltham Forest Police Cadets completed the Charity’s Bridgathon London walk for UCLH Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) fund, raising a total of £1,223 for education and research into TTP.

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) is a rare disorder of the blood coagulation system and is considered a true medical emergency. It is characterised into acquired (idiopathic) and congenital (familial) types and affects only 4-6 people per million, women more than men with a peak incidence in the forties.

cadetsThe cadets carried out their fundraising after Waltham Forest Police Support Officer, Christine Paravenska was treated for the rare and life-threatening blood disorder at UCLH. As for 50% of TTP patients, treatment was a joint effort between the TTP team and ICU staff, and a provision of around the clock care brought Christine into remission. Christine’s partner Amelia says “the Bridgathon was such a worthwhile and fun activity. It was a way of saying thanks for the life-saving treatment that Christine received.”

Marie Scully, consultant haematologist manages the TTP fund, and explains what great achievements it enables on a regular basis. “The funds raised enable us to provide TTP patients aspects of care that are beyond NHS provision.” This includes a whole host of activities and network events for those affected by TTP, and also enables UCLH to further research into TTP by regularly funding lab equipment and clinical studies.

Currently, Marie is saving up for a state of the art piece of equipment that replicates blood flow and coagulation of those suffering with TTP and this will be invaluable for clinical research activities. The TTP team are renowned for this kind of clinical research and trials, and even developed the use of monoclonal antibody rituximab, an immunosuppression drug that is used for acute TTP admissions and improves outcomes by reducing stay and relapses.

Marie explains that TTP affects not just the physical side of the patient’s health, but often has significant impact on a patient’s mental state and can have long-term effects of short term memory loss and depression. “That’s why patient awareness, education and network events are so important.” She says that the last network event featured patient testimonials about their personal fight with the disorder, and this was a truly emotional and worthwhile activity.

If you or a loved one has suffered from TTP and are interested in attending a TTP network event, visit their website: http://ttpnetwork.org.uk. If you would like to fundraise or donate to the fund visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Marie-Scully5

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