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Cancer survivor inspires head-dress campaign

HATS OFF: Diana Kaganda modelling pieces from the LinmiR Millinery spring/summer 2015 collection

AN AWARD-winning headwear brand has used the bravery of a cancer survivor as the inspiration for a fundraising campaign.

Hats and fascinators brand, LinmiR Millinery, is hoping to raise money and awareness for the life-saving work of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT).

The campaign will be fronted by cancer survivor Diana Kaganda, who hopes that her personal experience will “inspire and instill hope amongst those who are going through the same experience” she was confronted with two years ago.

Kaganda was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 2012.

She started chemotherapy a week after giving birth to her youngest daughter. She went through five months of intense chemotherapy and radiation therapy and then underwent a bone marrow transplant.

In January 2013, the mother-of-two went into coma twice and spent the beginning of the year in recovery whilst receiving several blood transfusions in order to maintain her health.

Eighteen months on, Kaganda is enjoying life with her two daughters, Eilah, three and and two-year-old Nailah.
She is now actively working with the charity that helped save her life by raising awareness about its good work as well as the disease.

“After my recovery, my passion was to raise awareness of blood cancer and spread awareness to the African-Caribbean and Asian communities to wake up to the fact that many of us are dying because there is simply not enough of us on the bone marrow register and giving blood.”

ACLT was established in 1996 with the primary objective of increasing the number of ethnic minorities on the UK bone marrow, blood and organ donation registers.

The charity was founded by Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis, parents of former Leukaemia sufferer Daniel De-Gale, who died from an unrelated health condition on October 8, 2008.

Over the last few years, ACLT has raised the numbers of potential black/mixed race donors from approximately 550 to approximately 60,000 and saved over 60 lives.

To launch the new campaign, the mother-of-two and LinmiR will be hosting the fashion event, Like a Bird: The LinmiR/Diana Kaganda ACLT Fashion Fundraiser where ACLT beneficiaries and supporters will be joining Kaganda for a unique catwalk experience to showcase LinmiR’s new SS2015 headwear collection.

The range, which is inspired by birds and designed by LinmiR Millinery founder Linda Mirembe, includes hats, turbans, fascinators and headbands made from a number of bird feathers, crystals, beads and vintage lace.
From December 13, 10 per cent of LinmiR’s SS2015 sales will be donated to the LinmiR/Diana Kaganda ACLT campaign.

Designers Clisha, Erwin Michalec and wedding stockists Beyond Expectations Bridal will also be presenting complimentary outfits alongside LinmiR Millinery.

The Like a Bird: The LinmiR/Diana Kaganda ACLT Fashion Fundraiser will take place on December 13 2014 in southeast London.

It will be an evening of fashion, entertainment and experience-sharing with cancer survivors and ACLT supporters who will also highlight the charity’s work. ACLT will also be advising on the blood and organ donation process.

Photography by: Irena Vondrasova

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