The ACLT’s tireless work to help give people the gift of life continues despite the tragic death of Daniel, son to the charity’s founders Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis. A former Leukaemia sufferer, he was diagnosed with the condition in April 1993 and went on to win his battle against the disease when in 1999 he became one of the first black people to receive a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. Daniel was in remission, but due to complications with his health, he suffered multiple organ failure and died in hospital surrounded by his family.
UK R&B star Raghav, who will be at the registration drive commented today: “I hope we take some of the strength that Daniel showed us and some of the perseverance of the De-Gale family to embrace this challenge as a minor obstacle in a much bigger fight. Thank you Daniel for making such a significant difference and in turn saving the lives of countless people through your ability to fight harder than most of us could ever dream to. I pledge to give my full effort and time in support of this cause and also a portion from all of my music sales this year to the ACLT. I hope to see all of you at the registration drive, where I’ll be registering myself as a potential donor.”
In an emotional statement, Beverley said: “We are very grateful for all the love, support and concern that you all have shown for our beautiful son. However, we ask that you please do not send us any flowers but instead support the charity by making a financial contribution. This will enable us to continue our valuable work in saving lives and in the long term assist in creating our own bone marrow registry. You can also contribute by attending this weekend’s or future registration drives to potentially give someone the gift of life. This is what my son Daniel would have wanted and what we have been campaigning for over the last 12 years. We want Daniels’s death to make a difference and you can start that today by taking action.”
The registration is being held on behalf of two brave young individuals who are desperately seeking bone marrow matches. Seven year old Dean Sheikh and 13 year old and Carena Cash are both critically ill with blood cancers and will die if a match is not found immediately, a task made difficult because of the extraordinary odds they face in finding a suitable match. Due to the desperate shortage of donors within the black, mixed race and ethnic minority community, Dean and Carena have only a 1 in 100,000 chance of finding a bone marrow match compared to around 1 in 5 if they were white.
The drive is being run in association with Barclays, who are providing a branch in Edgware as a base for the drive. Eula Clarke, manager for Barclays Edgware commented “I am happy to support the bone marrow and blood drive to help the ACLT. In supporting this cause we align ourselves with what matters within our local community and with the help of our volunteers, we’ll aim to create a positive impact bringing the power and capability of our organisation to tackle social issues.”
The registration drive is being held at the Barclays branch on 126 Station Road, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 7RY, between 10am and 4.30pm.
Remember, it’s never too late to come forward and help give someone the gift of life.