Nora Ephron and I shared a disease. We both suffered from Myeloid Leukaemia. Hers was more advanced than mine, in acute stage, whereas mine is simply chronic. Nora lost her battle this week. I thankfully remain in remission.

For those of you unfamiliar with the work of Nora Ephron she was a screenwriter. Not like me. You’ll have seen some of her films! In fact I’m pretty sure you will have seen at least one thing she’s written. She had that rare talent of being able to cross boundaries. These weren’t just chick flicks or date movies, these were genre defining, cinematic treats in their own right. Many of her films were remarkably uplifting and with effortless grace they enveloped you with smokey gladness. Sleepless In Seattle, You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally put smiles on the faces of every man and woman and that scene may never be bettered.

Nominated for 3 Oscars the tributes  from Hollywood’s great and good have flown in. As I become more involved in Leukaemia awareness and advocacy these deaths hit me harder with each passing moment. The tragedy of death is there for all to see. A blazing talent lost. An eternal gap in a family. A missing friend. I didn’t know Nora but with each Myeloid Leukaemia death I get more and more frustrated. I sense that within a very short period of time we could be looking at a cure and I want it now so the likes of Nora don’t have to die today.

First and second generation drugs, like mine, are saving lives every day. Next generation drugs along with combination therapies are revolutionising treatment. I can barely imagine where we will be with another 5 years under our belt. All I hope is that I never see another obituary with the words Myeloid and Leukaemia again. Then let’s start on the other forms of blood cancers and finish up by wiping this horrific disease, cancer, out completely. Can it be done? I believe it can. By rights I shouldn’t be writing this. Without dasatinib my life should have ended nearly 5 years ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think that. It’s what spurs me on, it inspires me to try to make a difference. It also frightens me that people still die from Myeloid Leukaemia…

Nora Ephron’s name is going to be near the end of the long list of souls our disease has taken. I’m sorry her name is on the list at all. Her legacy is her genius with words and 15 films that will outlive us all. I’d urge you to read the New York Times obituary to learn more about this remarkable, brave woman.

Kris Griffin