Bournemouth Members Meeting May 2019

CLL Support Association Conference


18 May 2019:

Village Hotel Bournemouth,

Wessex Fields, Deansleigh Road, Bournemouth, BH7 7DZ  




10.00 a.m. Arrival, refreshments, meet table companions

10.30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction by a CLLSA trustee          Olga Janssen

10.40 a.m. CLL Stories.                                                                 Matt Gibson

Three patients and a partner tell their stories.                              Norah Grant

Every experience is different.                                                       Kevin and Sue Powell

11.15 a.m. CLL, an Introduction                                                   Ram Jayaprakash

Ram Jayaprakash is a consultant haematologist at Poole 

with a particular interest in CLL , including the FLAIR trial.

12.00 noon Epigenetic Research in CLL                                      Lara Makewita

Lara Makewita is a PhD student at Southampton University.

Her talk will be looking into CLL disease biology.

12.30 p.m. Lunch

1.30 p.m. CLL Support Association News, given by a trustee      Brian Gardom

Achievements, developments, fundraising and volunteers.

1.45 p.m. Facilitated Small Group Discussions

Who’s who at your table; getting answers to your questions 

from table companions and sharing tips for coping with CLL.

2.30 p.m. Tea

2.45 p.m. CLL Effects on the Immune System – a Double-edged Sword

                                                                                                       Helen McCarthy

Haematology consultant Helen McCarthy runs a dedicated

CLL clinic at Bournemouth and leads the clinical research team

there with a large trials portfolio.

3.15 p.m. CLL Treatment: the Old, the New and the Available      Renata Walewska

Renata Walewska, haematology consultant at Bournemouth,

is an active member of the UK CLL Forum. She contributed to

the recently updated national British Society for Haematology

(BSH) clinical guidelines for CLL. She is a clinical advisor to the

Evidence Review Group for the National Institute for Health

and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisals.

3.55 p.m. Conference closed by a CLLSA trustee                         Olga Janssen

4.00 p.m. Depart


One hundred and five people attended this Conference, held on a Saturday to facilitate attendance by those in full-time work, often our younger members. We launched our under 60’s club, with membership now in excess of 20 people. Three of these told Conference their CLL stories.

Many thanks to the following organisations for their support at the conference: 

Leukaemia Care, Lymphoma Action, Wessex Cancer Trust, Bournemouth Leukaemia Fund, Bournemouth After Cancer Survivorship Fund

Matt Gibson, a deputy head teacher in his 40s, told us about his successful FCR treatment under consultant George Follows at the Addenbrooke Hospital, Cambridge.

He was followed by Canadian actor Norah Grant, in her 50’s, coordinator of the Under 60’s club, now on active monitoring, but whose swollen lymph nodes and spleen mean that she anticipates treatment before long under consultant Piers Patten at Kings College Hospital, London.

A double act by an older couple, Kevin and Sue Powell from Warwickshire, illustrated well the power of a strong partnership for coping with the impact of living with CLL and its treatment, for Kevin the two drugs, Venetoclax and Rituximab.

Having set our focus on the experience and interests of the patient and care partner through these opening CLL stories, our programme then moved onto presentations by two expert speakers. Ram Jayaprakash, CLL consultant at Poole, gave an introduction to CLL, what it is and how it behaves. 

Lara Makewita, PhD student at Southampton University gave a graphic account of the biology of CLL, with use of PowerPoint animations. 


Our afternoon programme started with an update by trustee, Brian Gardom, on the CLL Support Association’s recent achievements and current projects. This included an invitation to become a profile-raising Champion for the Association, to improve awareness of our services in CLL clinics and GP surgeries.

Please note.

Google search for CLLSA returns a very good hit rate rather than CLL as Brian mentioned.

Also the original CLLSA site was created over 10 years ago and was very difficult to maintain. This site was replaced in 2015, a project driven by Nick York who was a trustee at the time and a volunteer, by a modern responsive site to simplify content management and with a database to manage membership and meetings etc.

Thirteen facilitated, round-table discussions followed, sharing patients’, care partners’ and experts’ experience and knowledge to answer one another’s questions on CLL and tips for coping. Questions that groups were unable to answer on the day were taken away and answers have been given in the full Conference Report, accessible on this website. The tips volunteered by discussion groups for sharing have been presented thematically in the full Conference Report.

Two expert presentations by Bournemouth CLL consultants concluded the programme.

Helen McCarthy gave an account of how CLL can effect the immune system with telling photographs of anonymised case studies showing the impact on the body.

Renata Walewska’s presentation on “CLL Treatment: the Old, the New and the Available” was well pitched, through clear slides and the use of a CLL soft toy prop, so as to be accessible to the interested, lay audience.

Videos and slides of  presentations will be available shortly.



(Compiled by Olga Janssen)