Bonded by Blood: A Mother’s Story

Ellie Avlon

Avlon Europe are supporting ACLT‘s latest campaign – Bonded by Blood: A Mothers Story – a nationwide blood donation campaign which has launched today in memory of sickle cell patient Richard Okorogheye.  Avlon Europe are championing the importance of donating blood and encouraging people to come forward and give blood, find out other ways Avlon support ACLT HERE.

The aim is to focus on amplifying the need for more blood donors of Black heritage to step forward, during two important dates in the Black British calendar, World Sickle Cell Awareness Month and Black History Month, encouraging Black people to book a blood donation appointment at a series of special sessions held over three consecutive weekends between 26th September – 10th October 2021. 

Bonded by Blood: A Mother’s Story will centre around encouraging new and current blood donors of Black heritage to donate in memory of Richard, the 19-year-old who was living with sickle cell and who went missing from his home in Ladbroke Grove in March of this year.  Tragically, Richard’s body was found 20 miles away in Epping Forest, Essex, two weeks after he was reported missing. The campaign will share the stories of mothers with children who receive regular blood transfusions as well as stories from mothers whose children were blood recipients but have sadly passed away. 

Richard’s Story

On March 22nd, 19-year-old Richard Okorogheye, went missing from his home in Ladbroke Grove. Two weeks later, Richard’s body was found 20 miles away in Epping Forest, Essex.

Richard had been shielding throughout the coronavirus pandemic because he had sickle cell disease.  He was a regular recipient of blood transfusions and only left the house during the pandemic to visit the hospital to receive blood transfusions.

Richard’s mother Evidence Joel said:

“Blood donation campaigns like Bonded by Blood are incredibly important to encourage existing blood donors to donate regularly and new blood donors to consider donating, particularly within the Black community – to help the lives of sickle cell patients and others who require blood transfusions and exchanges to maintain and save their life.

I am grateful for the Bonded by Blood organisations coming together to do something positive in the name of my son Richard. He had a bright future ahead of him. It is my hope his legacy will be that of his name encouraging people from the Black community to support each other by doing something so amazing such as giving blood.”

A full campaign video featuring mothers from the Bonded by Blood: A Mothers Story, will feature on www.aclt.org and across ACLT’s social media from September.”

To register to donate blood and attend the Bonded by Blood: A Mothers Story blood donation sessions, individuals should call the priority booking line on 0300 303 2805.  Alternatively, people can visit www.blood.co.uk and complete the pre-booking form.

Bonded by Blood donation sessions will take place in locations in London, Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester.   

For more Avlon news click HERE

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