November Newsletter - Neil Graham

Neil Graham video

Dear Friends of CLL Advocates NZ

We were deeply saddened to report to you last month that our Founder and Executive Director Dr Neil Graham passed away on November 15. Neil was the driving force and inspiring leader behind CLL Advocates and gave an enormous amount of his time and professional expertise to establishing the organisation and advocating for the interests of CLL patients. We miss him greatly.

As a physician and CLL patient himself, Neil gave a great deal of personal time to talking with and meeting CLL patients who had made contact through the private Facebook page, especially people who had been newly diagnosed.  We know from their feedback that this was greatly appreciated. Neil also maintained a persistent and consistent focus on getting better treatments for CLL patients, regularly engaging with Pharmac officials, petitioning and making submissions to Parliament, appearing before the Health Committee and the Pharmac Review Panel and engaging with media.

Neil felt strongly about improving public understanding of CLL and providing better information for people living with it, and was able to put together a dedicated CLL patient information booklet through forging a very productive collaboration with a UK blood cancer advocacy group.  In the same vein he developed a relationship with the international CLL patient group CLL Advocates Network resulting in our organisation becoming one of the first 9 members of what is now a 34 member country network sharing information and resources on CLL.

You may recall in his last (October) newsletter Neil asked for feedback on our activities and in particular any offers of help with any of our work. If you are able to volunteer any time even for small tasks, this would be greatly appreciated, especially as we move into this new era, without Neil at the helm.

You can contact us at

With best wishes

CLL Advocates Trustees