The officer behind the ‘Pass It On’ campaign, a month-long drive to save the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders has been honoured by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Inspector Rik Basra who retired from Leicestershire Police after 30 years of service got more than 10,000 potential lifesavers to sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, and has been named a Point of Light for his “incredible dedication”.
In 2011 Rik beat leukaemia after a suitable bone marrow match was found in Germany. After his recovery he set up The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign to help prevent other families having to go through the same agonising wait to find a match.
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole and Deputy City Mayor Rory Palmer presented the Point of Light award, which is chosen by the PM in recognition of outstanding volunteers.
31 Leicestershire organisations have joined forces to run daily awareness events and registration drives throughout September to sign people to the register as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Rik has already signed up a phenomenal number of stem cell donors including an amazing 1,000 in a day. The challenge he has set himself this September shows his incredible dedication to raising awareness of this important cause and signing up even more donors. I wish him every success with ‘Pass It On’ and I am delighted to be able to recognise his service with this Points of Light award.”
For the first day of the campaign on the 1st September, Leicestershire Police planned a series of activities which started with Rik zip wiring down a building. Rik, and a team of police volunteers, then ran to each of the 31 hosts with the ‘Pass It On’ flag before finishing at force headquarters for a keynote speech by Rik, the Chief Constable, Haematology Consultant Murray Martin and Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development for Anthony Nolan.
For more information on becoming a potential lifesaver sign up to the Anthony Nolan register at www.anthonynolan.org or go along to one of the events this month.
You need to be aged between 16 and 30 and in general good health. It only takes five minutes – you just need to answer a few simple questions and provide a teaspoon of saliva.
- Fri 4 Sept, 12.00pm-3.00pm, Leicester Hockey Club (at Leicester Grammar School, London Road)
- Sun 6 Sept, 11.00am-5.00pm, Sabras Radio, Melton Road
- Mon 7 Sept, 9.00am-5.00pm, East Midlands Trains (at Leicester Train Station)
- Tues 8 Sept, 1.00pm-7.00pm, Curve theatre, Rutland Street
- Wed 9 Sept, 12.00pm-3.00pm, NHS Blood & Transplant, Vaughan Way
- Thurs 10 Sept, 11.00am-3.00pm, Leicester City Council, City Hall, Charles Street
- Sat 12 Sept, 10.00am-4.00pm, Leicester Cathedral
- Sun 13 Sept, 11.00am-4.00pm, East Midlands Ambulance Service (at Highcross Shopping Centre)
- Mon 14 Sept, 10.00am-6.00pm, Leicestershire County Cricket, Grace Road
- Tues 15 Sept, 10.00am-5.00pm, Highcross Shopping Centre
- Wed 16 Sept, 11.00am-4.00pm, Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service (at Leicester College and Wigston fire station)
- Wed 16 Sept, 4.30pm-7.30pm, Leicester Progressive Synagogue, Avenue Road
- Sat 19 Sept, 9.00am-4.00pm, Leicester Tigers (during Tigers in the Park, Nelson Mandela Park)
- Sun 20 Sept, 10.00am-3.00pm, GTB Gurdwara Community Centre, East Park Road
- Mon 21 Sept, 8.00am-2.30pm, Fosse Business Breakfast Club, City Rooms, Hotel Street
- Wed 23 Sept, 10.00am-5.00pm, Girlguiding Leicestershire, Princess Road East
- Thurs 24 Sept, 10.00am-5.00pm, University of Leicester
- Sat 26 Sept, 2.00pm-6.00pm, Leicester City Football Club, Kingpower Stadium
- Sat 26 Sept, 4.00pm-7.30pm, Leicester Riders (at Loughborough University)
- Sun 27 Sept, 10.00am-3.00pm, Leicester Royal Infirmary (Osbourne Building)
- Weds 30 Sept, 8.00am-2.30pm, De Montfort University