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Daniel De-Gale will always been an inspiration

Daniel-De-GaleThe 10th and final African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust Gift of Life ball was held on Saturday night, almost one year to the day after the young man who inspired the charity, Daniel De-Gale, tragically died

ACLT was started by Daniel’s mother, Beverley, and her partner Orin Lewis, as they desperately tried to find a bone marrow donor after he was diagnosed with the potentially fatal blood condition, aged six.

There was widespread shock last year after De-Gale passed away, just days after attending the 9th Gift of Life charity fundraiser. Although De-Gale had defied the odds and found a donor, the intensive medical treatment he had received since an early age, which he was still receiving, had taken its’ toll on his body.

Lewis, speaking on BBC London’s Dotun Adebayo radio show last night, said that “it made sense to close down that particular brand [Gift of Life] because it was so closely linked to Daniel.”

But Lewis pledged to continue with the work of African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), adding: “Daniel will always be there was a central vibe throughout the work of the charity.”

The Gift of Life balls have always celebrity-studded, and a key feature in the black-tie calendar of businesspeople and community leaders. However last year, as the recession began to bite, there was a fall in the amount guest bid for auctioned items.

Lewis announced plans for an ACLT Memorial Concert, to be held at the Hackney Empire on Saturday 14th November, and said that the organisation was encouraging all communities to come forward and give a blood sample, which is then screened for matches to leukaemia sufferers.

He said: “there are no barriers. We need to make sure everyone comes through so everyone benefits. It’s numbers driven.”

By Lester Holloway

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