Celebrities to attend ACLT ball

The unsung heroes of organ donation in the UK will be honoured at this year’s event

CELEBRITY SUPPORT:Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis of the ACLT with singer Emelie Sande

ACTOR COLIN Salmon, former Brighton manager Chris Hughton, Casualty star Charles Venn, Shaun Wallace from ITV’s The Chase and broadcaster Brenda Emmanus are among the leading figures who will be attending the ACLT Gift of Life Celebrity Fundraising Ball.

This year’s event, which will be held on Saturday September 28 at the  InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel, in Mayfair, will mark the 12th time that it has been held.

The 2019 ball will aim to shine a light on African and Caribbean unsung heroes of organ donation in the UK –  individuals who have become living donors (through the donation of an organ) to save the life of their loved one.

STORIES

The night, which will be hosted by Smooth FM’s new drive time show presenter Angie Greaves, will also highlight the stories of patients who are in desperate need to find a lifesaving donor to dramatically enhance or save their life.

ACLT co-founder Beverley De-Gale said: Gift of Life has been ACLT’s flagship fundraising event for many years. I’m excited Orin, the ACLT Team and I are able to bring it back once again. It’s an extremely important event because it showcases the physical impact of our work via real-life examples of lifesavers we’ve found and patients whose lives have been saved as a result. 

HUMBLING

“The ball is a humbling experience for us all, but more importantly it’s a much-loved part of our calendar as it provides an opportunity for the audience to get energised to do what’s necessary to ensure our message carries on to be heard and our lifesaving work continues.”

The ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust) is an independent charity that formed in 1996 with the main aim to increase the number of ethnic minorities on the UK stem cell (bone marrow) and blood donation registers after co-founders Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE received the devastating news their son Daniel De-Gale was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1993 – he was just 6 years old. 

Daniel overcame incredible odds of 1 in 250,000 to become the first black person in the UK to receive a lifesaving stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor in 1999. 

He beat his fight against leukaemia and lived a happy life alongside his family and friends for several years.

However on October 8th 2008, Daniel sadly passed away due to complications with his health.

ACLT’s hard work to uphold Daniel’s legacy over the last 22 years has resulted in the charity saving over 100 lives through boosting the UK stem cell register from a mere 550 black individuals to over 100,000 individuals of all ethnicities, with approximately 70 per cent of those individuals from an African and Caribbean background.

ACLT has also recruited thousands of blood and organ donors, with the latter becoming a focus for the charity in 2010.

CAMPAIGN

De-Gale said: “At this year’s ball we will share our new campaign #GiveHopeGiftLife. We sincerely wish this becomes a key takeaway of the evening, so alongside our community – we can come together once again to save many more lives and find lifesaving donors who are readily available to donate to those in need.”

Among the other celebrities expected to be attending the Gift of Life Ball are actress Chizzy Akudolu, broadcasters Claudia-Liza Armah and Sky News presenter Gillian Joseph, film producer/director Femi Oyeniran, Radio 1 DJ, DJ Ace, and Afrobeats star Fuse ODG.

The event is open to members of the public. Tickets are priced at £150 and available at www.aclt.org. Tickets include a drinks reception, three course dinner, live entertainment auction and raffle.

For tickets, please visit: http://bit.ly/2OtL38o

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