Make Blood Cancer Visible is an installation by Paul Cocksedge that gathers 104 three-dimensional letterform sculptures forming a typographic forest of names. The installation represents the 104 individuals that are diagnosed with blood cancer every day,1 raising awareness and shining a light on their experiences by exposing their individual stories.
One story is Ellie’s. Ellie was just 15 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Her courage and compassion are remarkable as she describes combining her GCSE studies with chemotherapy and what Make Blood Cancer visible means to her.
Each of the pieces symbolises an individual with blood cancer, sized perfectly to match the individual’s height and recreating their name in huge vertically placed letters. The sculptures are arranged to reflect the patterns that occur when people gather in crowds, and set in a recurring typeface that emphasises their shared experiences. At night the pieces become illuminated, casting overlapping shadows and taking on a different dimension.
During September, visitors can interact with these sculptures, read the stories of those affected by cancer and share photos of their visit on social media using #makebloodcancervisible.
Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic system2. Most types of blood cancer are rare, life-threatening conditions3 with small patient populations put together they make up 7% of all cancers.4
There are approximately 140 different types of blood cancer – the main types being leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.5 Despite the severity of these conditions, blood cancer has no visibility. Due to the complex, often rare nature of blood cancer, patients may at times feel overlooked and can have difficulty accessing the right support and information.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is one of 82 diseases that can be successfully treated with cord blood stem cells.
- Bloodwise. Facts and informaton about blood cancer. Available at
https://bloodwise.org.uk/page/facts-and-information-about-blood-cancer. Last accessed August 2017
- Anthony Nolan. What is blood cancer? Available at: http://www.anthonynolan.org/blood-cancers-and-disorders/what-blood-cancer Last accessed July 2015
- Anthony Nolan. Facts and stats. Available at: http://www.anthonynolan.org/media/facts-and-stats Last accessed July 2015.
- World Cancer Research Fund International. Worldwide data. Available at: http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/worldwide-data Last accessed July 2015.
- Leukaemia CARE. About Blood Cancer. Available at: http://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/about-blood-cancer Last accessed July 2015.