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Post letters: Damary Dawkins’ legacy, alcohol and prostate cancer

PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 December 2019

Damary Dawkins lives on in the legacy he has left. Picture: ACLT

Damary Dawkins lives on in the legacy he has left. Picture: ACLT

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Stem donor list lasting legacy to honour Damary

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly of Barking writes:

It is just over a year ago that a very promising youngster Damary Dawkins died from a lymphoblastic cancer

Damary was an 'amazing' young man with the world at his feet. Academically he was doing well and also in sport, particularly soccer, and may have had the chance of playing for Crystal Palace. But a serious illness cut short his promising life

It was expected that he may have been cured or improved by having a stem cell transplant but this was not to happen because the condition had worsened and was too close to his demise.

But the legacy of Damary's life was to carry on within the church his family attended, the Church of Pentecost in Green Lane, his school, and many friends of his that it was decided in memory of Damary to establish a donor register for those wanting to donate stem cells for further use. The setting up of a register of donors is being helped by Damary's parents and others.

The procedure for taking stem cells is relatively simple, just by taking a smear from within the cheek to determine the condition for matching purposes.

Sixty-nine per cent of European donors are considered as suitable donors compared to 20pc of other ethnic groups.

These stem cell donors, or potential lifesavers, would be a lasting legacy to honour Damary as well as

providing a very effective medical condition to help others.

At present, there have been 70 people sign up from within his church and it is expected that this number will grow as people become more aware of the very good therapeutic value of stem cells for chronic health conditions.

This donor drive is being promoted by Damary's parents a well as their church.

'After every storm, there will be a rainbow' this epithet may encourage all who knew Damary that his memory will continue to have a good effect upon them and may the steam cell donors see the brightness of the day for those helped by their giving.

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Those wanting to find details can do so from aclt.com or the Church of Pentecost, Green Lane.

You don't need alcohol to have fun

Dr Richard Piper - CEO of Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, writes:

It can be difficult to say no to a drink, especially during the festive season. In fact, our new research shows that almost four in five (78 per cent) Brits drink more than they want or intend to. Over one in five (23pc) feel pressured to drink more than they want to by people they know: most often by friends and colleagues.

These findings show that lots of us are drinking in ways that we don't feel comfortable with, but it can be tricky to know how to make a change. Signing up for Dry January is a brilliant place to start.

Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us we don't need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or socialise. Strong evidence tells us that Dry January helps people - even heavy drinkers - to drink more healthily all year round. People who take on Dry January get a whole host of benefits, from losing weight to more money in their pockets and healthier insides. That's why an amazing one in 10 drinkers will be taking up the challenge in 2020.

So if you're up for resetting your relationship with alchohol and improving your health, sign up for Dry January at dryjanuary.org.uk or download the free app for Dry January and beyond, Try Dry. People who sign-up are twice as likely to go the whole month without drinking compared who those who try to do it alone.

Marching for prostate cancer

Jeff Stelling, sports presenter and ambassador, Prostate Cancer UK, writes:

"Unbelievable Jeff". That was the message from everyone who joined me during my brilliant March for Men event for Prostate Cancer UK in September. But in truth everyone who joined me this year, and in previous years, are the amazing ones.

News reaches me that the fundraising for my epic four-nation marathon march across Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and London has soared to a whopping £373,000, which is a terrific effort in the fight against prostate cancer.

I may have been the figurehead for the event, but this was the ultimate team effort.

It was such an emotional feeling to cross the line back in September when Tottenham Hotspur kindly opened their amazing new stadium for the finale. But I was happy too, and incredibly proud to walk side by side with so many inspirational people, men affected by what is the most common cancer in men, some with an uncertain future, some who have lost loved ones, some who remain beacons of hope.

The money raised is making a huge difference.


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