A WOMAN from Falmouth is taking up a starring role in a video produced by national blood cancer charity Myeloma UK for this year’s Myeloma Awareness Week.

Jenny Hudson, 69, has been the leader of the Cornwall Myeloma Support Group and for two-and-a-half years, working to help the 30 members manage their diagnosis of myeloma and the challenges it can bring.

Jenny has been living with the incurable blood cancer myeloma since her diagnosis in 2011 and received a stem cell transplant in July 2012.

Jenny became a support group leader after the former leader and group founder, Andy Wood, passed away.

She said: “I heard that the Cornwall Support Group was being formed and went along to the initial meeting in 2013 and helped to get things set up and running. After Andy’s death, I found myself in the role of leader.

"A support group brings people together to share information, of course, but primarily it is the support we give one another within the group that is invaluable – whether as a myeloma patient or a carer.”

Grandmother-of-seven Jenny has coped with her own myeloma whilst helping others.

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Her husband, Ray, said: “Jenny has been through a lot since being diagnosed in 2011. Her stem cell transplant went badly and the following six months or so were very testing.

"After the sad passing of Andy, no one showed any enthusiasm to take over as leader of the group, so Jenny took it upon herself to organise the meetings and speakers. I am very proud of what she has achieved in the last nine years, and the way she has dealt with her myeloma.”

Myeloma UK is the only charity to focus exclusively on the incurable blood cancer myeloma and its related conditions.

It represents the 24,000 extremely clinically vulnerable people in the UK with myeloma and has 100 Support Groups across the UK where patients, families and carers can come together to offer emotional support and friendship to each other and help relieve feelings of isolation.

Myeloma UK provides support, information and resources to the group leaders, as well as external speakers and up to date information on the latest treatments and clinical trials.

This year, Myeloma Awareness Week, which runs until June 27, is focusing on the theme of ‘We are one myeloma community. We make a difference’ and raising awareness of all the work the myeloma community does to support one another and drive better outcomes for patients.

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During the week, the charity will share inspiring stories of the work being done by supporters, researchers, hospitals and healthcare professionals, support groups, and all the teams at Myeloma UK through videos and blogs.

CEO Laura Kerby said: “This year, with myeloma patients following shielding advice as a result of being extremely clinically vulnerable, it seemed right to remind ourselves that we remain one myeloma community, here to support each other and as committed as ever to improving the clinical outcomes and experiences of myeloma patients, their families and carers.

"Our support group leaders are an amazing example of how we work together to make a difference.”

Myeloma patients can find their nearest support group via www.myeloma.org.uk/help-and-support/support-groups/

For more information on Myeloma Awareness Week and how to support Myeloma UK see www.myeloma.org.uk/maw