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ACLT co-founder ‘deeply touched’ after collecting OBE

TOUCHED: Orin Lewis stands with the OBE he received from Queen Elizabeth II (PIC CREDIT: Steve Parsons/Press Association)

ORIN LEWIS, co-founder of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), says he feels “deeply touched” after collecting his OBE earlier today (March 1).

The Queen bestowed Lewis with the honour at a ceremony at Windsor Castle, Berkshire on March 2. Lewis was awarded for his contribution to healthcare in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s Honours list.

“I am deeply touched and ever so proud of being awarded this honour,” Lewis said. “I feel extremely honoured, and accept it on behalf of my children, family, and everyone associated with the life saving work of the ACLT.”

He set up the ACLT 15 years ago with partner Beverley De-Gale to raise awareness of the need for black and mixed race donors while trying to find a matching bone marrow donor for his stepson Daniel De-Gale. Daniel later found a donor and overcame childhood leukaemia. He sadly died from an unrelated health condition in October 2008, age 21.

Lewis added: “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 (who received an OBE for services to health care last October), and now I, have been awarded this prestigious honour.”

Earlier this year, Orin told The Voice: “I feel very blessed to receive this award for what I do. My passion is for helping others to save lives and help those in need.”

He said Daniel his stepson would be smiling. “It’s a shame he is not physically here with us but I know he will be smiling. He’ll be very pleased that in the last 12 months his mother received an OBE and now I have received one. I thank the community for supporting us and continuing to support us in what we do, which is trying to save lives,” he said.

Photo credit: Steve Parsons/Press Association

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