A COUPLE who were planning to take on a year of charity challenges are finding new ways to fundraise during lockdown.

Kate Joiner was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a rare form of blood cancer, in June 2019.

Mrs Joiner said: “There are six main symptoms of leukaemia and we missed all of them. Looking back now, I did experience some of the symptoms, but I just brushed them off, attributing them to the stresses of daily life.”

With the help of her husband Chris, the two had organised a year’s worth of events to raise money for national blood cancer charity Leukaemia Care that is based in Worcester. However, the city couple were only able to complete a handful of their challenges before lockdown began.

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“We were so disappointed not to be able to go ahead with the half marathon swim in March, and as time goes on, we are planning for more of the events to be postponed due to the lockdown,” Mrs Joiner said.

“So, we had a think about what we could do to continue raising awareness of the symptoms of leukaemia and the work of Leukaemia Care. We came up with the idea of The Adventures of Dog and Rabbit, who did a spot of swimming, spot of baking and spot of partying, among other things, on our driveway. It kept our children and neighbours entertained and made people smile when we posted the pictures online.”

The Joiners launched a competition to name their stuffed dog and rabbit as a way to say thanks to all those who have supported them. The winning names selected were Bonnie and Bertie, chosen by supporter Helen Archer.

The couple had planned to complete six events throughout 2020, one for each main symptom of leukaemia. The current plan is to not only complete some of the events that may have to be postponed this year, but also to hold new ones. Some of the fundraisers planned so far include a barn dance, a board game marathon, a big balloon pop, a fete and even a possible street party.

Claire Merritt, from Leukaemia Care, added: “We’re especially grateful to Kate and Chris for all their efforts in supporting the charity.

“This is a difficult time for us all, so for the two of them to continue raising awareness of leukaemia, and raising vital funds, is really inspiring. All funds raised will be invaluable in helping us to keep supporting blood cancer patients at a time when they need us more than ever.”

For more on their fundraising visit facebook.com/spotthejoiners.