Queen Honours Caribbean Charity Co-founder Orin Lewis

| December 31, 2011

Beverley DeGale, the late Daniel DeGale and Orin Lewis

“OBE awarded to ACLT Co-founder Orin Lewis”




  January 1st 2012 notes not only the turn of the year, but also marks the day co-founder of leading UK Leukaemia charity, African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), Orin Cadogan-Lewis, is awarded with an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year’s 2012 Honours List by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary in recognition For services to Healthcare.

 Orin Lewis said: “I am deeply touched and ever so proud of being awarded this honour by Her Majesty the Queen for my services to Healthcare in Britain. I feel extremely honoured, and accept it on behalf of my children, family, and everyone associated with the life saving work of the ACLT. Having recruited tens of thousands of new bone marrow, blood and organ donors from the hardest to reach communities and in turn directly saving lives in the UK and abroad, it does fill me with joy that our efforts have this year been recognised to the extent that first Beverley, [in October 2011 Beverley De-Gale was awarded an O.B.E. for services to Healthcare) and now I, have been awarded this prestigious honour from Her Majesty the Queen.

 It was in 1996 Orin Lewis and his partner (ACLT co-founder Beverley De-Gale) received the devastating news their 8 year old son Daniel De-Gale, would need a life saving bone marrow transplant in order to win his 3 year battle against Leukaemia.  Now, over 15 years later, the compassionate, educational and life-changing work of the ACLT has been twice recognised by the highest authority in the country.  Orin Lewis adds: “This honour is an achievement we didn’t even dream of attaining when we first started this journey; however it is one Beverley, our family and I are extremely proud of.  It fills our hearts that we know Daniel will be looking down on us both, punching his fist happily in the air re this current honour”.   Daniel overcame his battle with Leukaemia and lived happily for several years; however sadly passed away at the age of 21 in October 2008 due to an unrelated illness.

 Orin adds: “There is still much more to be done. Earlier this year we held a major recruitment drive in central London’s Leicester Square, in response to the need of 3 year old Kye Carpenter-Mark for life-saving bone marrow donors. I know from my own experience that there is no starker illustration of the ongoing importance and invaluable nature of the ACLT’s work than the loss of a loved one. Sadly Kye recently lost his battle with leukaemia, tragically passing away late November 2011. Our drive and motivation, is to enable children like Kye to overcome this terrible illness and to enjoy life with their families and friends”.

 The OBE award punctuates a period of immense transition for the ACLT; one year ago a shortfall in funding meant the charity was under threat of imminent closure. Following a successful appeal where over £120,000 was raised by the general public between January – March 2011, the short to medium future of the charity has been secured.  The ACLT continues to work hard in spreading awareness on bone marrow, blood and organ donation within the Black, Asian and Mixed Race communities in the UK, encouraging individuals to join the registers in the hope their donation could potentially become a life saving match. 

 With over 17.1 million people on the NHS Organ Donor Register and only 1.5 per cent of these are from the Asian communities and a woeful 0.4 per cent are from the Black community, the ACLT’s life saving work is vital to assist with increasing the opportunities to save lives when bone marrow, blood or organ donation is required.

 In the summer of 2011, Orin was one of only a few stakeholders invited by Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley to No.10 Downing Street, to participate in round table discussions concerning ‘NHS Modernisation’. Here Orin was able to communicate the experiences as well as the current and future aims of the ACLT, and seek parallels to the Government’s commitment to provide assistance. In posing such issues directly to the Prime Minister David Cameron, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Orin hopes to find common ground between the Voluntary sector and central Government in solving the issues in the long term.

 For more information on how to become a bone marrow, blood and organ donor please visit the ACLT’s website, www.aclt.org

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