A HAGLEY woman who is living with blood cancer has been honoured with a national volunteer award for her work with a charity that helps people with the disease.

Myeloma patient Deb Gascoyne, 44, won the Helpline Volunteer of the Year award at this Helplines Partnership Awards for her efforts in going 'above and beyond' to assist Myeloma UK.

Deb works on the Peer Network, a voluntary service that provides peer-to-peer support for myeloma patients, carers and their families.

In addition, she and her family have raised £125,000 and counting that has enabled Myeloma UK to keep running the service.

“I am very delighted and proud to receive this award," said Deb.

"It has been a pleasure to work alongside Myeloma UK to help support everyone affected by a diagnosis of myeloma.

"Giving back something that supported me so much in my early days of diagnosis is really important to me.

"This award recognises the impact that the organisation has for all patients and carers and I am committed to helping in any way I can.”

Deb's next challenge is to raise £50,000 before her 50th birthday in 2025.

Inspired by his mum’s achievement, her 13-year-old son Sam has also set up a campaign to do 15 challenges before he is 15 to help people understand myeloma and to raise money.

To find out more about Deb and Sam’s challenges and to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/50kb450 and www.justgiving.com/15b415

Myeloma is a blood cancer arising from plasma cells, and accounts for 15 per cent of blood cancers, and two per cent of all cancers.

It mainly affects people over the age of 65 but has been diagnosed in younger people and while there is currently no cure for myeloma it is treatable.

Dr Sandra Quinn, patient and carer support manager for Myeloma UK, said: "Deb is an inspiration to everyone at Myeloma UK and we are grateful for her unwavering support for our services and her incredible efforts to raise vital funds to assist us in our work.

"She is certainly a deserving winner and a great ambassador for Myeloma UK.”

The Helplines Partnership is the membership body for organisations that provide information, support or advice via phone, email, text or online.

Paula Ojok, chief executive officer of Helplines Partnership, said: “Deborah’s nomination demonstrates extraordinary commitment and the power of peer support.

"Her fundraising achievements have directly secured the continuation of this service and feedback from people who use the service reflects all of the essential skills and attributes of a peer supporter.

“Deborah’s the person we’d all love to be! A superb fundraiser for Myeloma UK, enabling key services to continue, an ambassador, a committed volunteer for over a decade and great at her job because she has true empathy with her customers having personal experience.”