CHARITY

Alex Nicholson, 24 years-old, of English-Greek origin, urgently needs a lifesaving stem cell transplant to treat his blood cancer.

Alex was 18-years-old when he was diagnosed with a blood cancer called Classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 4B on April 8th, 2016, but began feeling unwell around 5 months before the official diagnosis.

He was a music technology student at Palmers College, USP College in Grays, Essex, and was studying for his exams when he was diagnosed and began treatment.

Now 24-years-old, Alex, from Basildon, Essex, has been battling his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for five years and has sadly relapsed six times after two failed stem cell transplants, a trial drug failure and endless chemotherapy sessions.

Alex undertook chemotherapy sessions and received the first stem cell transplant in November 2016 using his own cells.

There was only a 50 per cent chance that using his own stem cells would work and devastatingly, it didn’t.

Alex then relapsed in January 2017 and the cancer returned. The consultants contacted the register for stem cell donors but were unable to find a match for Alex.

The keen musician continued with his chemotherapy treatment until June 2017 and received his mum’s stem cells, with only a 50 per cent chance that it would work.

Sadly, his mum’s stem cells also failed.

Alex’s mum, Debbie Nicholson, 48, said: “He’s been through his cancer journey for the last 5 years. Alex was studying at college, he was studying music technology, throughout his treatment had home exams, he’s been able to do on-line help with his coursework, with his colleagues and his tutors. And he was able to get a very good mark, even though he was going through treatment. Alex has had two stem cell transplants, which is a little procedure that could give someone the chance of life. It’s collecting stem cells out of your blood, so it’s not anything to do with organs or anything like that, it’s just what your blood makes that the patient you match to, potentially be able to save their life”.

But sadly, the treatments failed to work and Alex’s cancer returned for a fourth time.

Then on January 27 last year, Alex was given a trial drug aimed at helping cure his cancer, but after three days, he became unwell and the drug didn’t work.

He went through a year of remission from June 2020 to August 2021 and recently Alex was told by his consultant that his Hodgkin’s lymphoma has returned and is sadly incurable.

Sarah Mallick, Fundraiser and Administrator at The Leukaemia Cancer Society told LGR, “This young man has spent nearly a quarter of his life battling blood cancer; he’s only 24 now. He was first diagnosed when he was 18. He has his whole life ahead of him, but he’s really running out of options and so we desperately need to find a stem cell donor for him as soon as possible.”

Alex is of English and Greek heritage and may need to rely on donors of mixed heritage to donate their stem cells as he has already had two failed transplants.

If someone is also half English and half Greek, like Alex, there would be a better chance of a tissue match to potentially cure him.

Androulla Stylianou, Co-ordinator at the charity told LGR’s Wish, “And because Alex is of mixed heritage Greek and English, the likelihood is that it’s someone from that heritage that will match him. But that does not mean that we don’t want just fully Greek people on the register, also English people. Because the match could be anybody Greek, English, or a mixture of the both. So we’re appealing to that group of people. This is Alex’s last chance. He has no other chance unless he finds a stem cell donor soon.”

There is a desperate need for stem cell and bone marrow donors, which could help save people’s lives – including Alex.

Sarah Mallick said, “And people might think a stem cell transplant, involves an operation, but actually for most people, it’s bit like a long version of giving blood. So it’s a matter of giving up a few hours at a hospital, and perhaps getting a bit bored and feeling a bit tired. But for the opportunity that you might be able to save a life.”

Androulla explained, “Whatever is taken from the donor that hopefully that we find goes on to a separator machine, and blood is taken from one hand, goes through the machine, where they take the cells that they need for the patient, and then it goes back through the other hand. So nothing is really taken and the cells that are taken are replenished, within a couple of days, so there is no risk to the donor.”

It’s easy to register as a donor, by going to The Leukaemia Cancer Society’s website, you can register to become a donor. After registering, a swab will be sent to you, where you swab inside your mouth and send it back to the charity.

If you’re a match, you’ll receive a call on how to give your stem cell or bone marrow – and it could save someone’s life.

Androulla Stylianou told Tony Neophytou’s Wish programme, “It is a very, very easy procedure, and your giving someone a chance of life. Alex is hanging on waiting for that last chance, waiting for the match to come forward. So, the more people that register, then greater the possibility of finding a donor for Alex.”

“It was an appeal for John Triteous that we heard and we went forward to give blood, and join the register ourselves. And that is what inspired, the Leukaemia Cancer Society to recruit Mediterranean donors, Greek-Cypriot, Turkish-Cypriot, to help save lives.

“It was a radio appeal which inspired the creation of The Leukaemia Cancer Society, and LGR actually.”

Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer – those that affect the body’s bone marrow, blood or lymphatic system – such as leukaemia, myelome or lymphona. Yet, just 2% of the UK population is registered as potential blood stem cell donors. People from Cypriot, Greek and mixed ethnicity backgrounds are under-represented as donors.

Diversifying the register is extremely important to people from our community.

“We do wish more people would come forward, we do need a lot more Greek-Cypriot people. We are greatly under-represented on the register. The Mediterranean community is only a very small percentage of the British registry, a very small percentage. So we need to do whatever we can to increase that and to make the register more diverse.”

“We are a very generous community, we are a giving people, a loving people; I think it’s just that people are unaware how simple a procedure it is. And maybe that deters them from coming forward. It is a very, very simple procedure that takes not too long at all of your time and a procedure that can potentially save a life of a young 24-year-old.”

For more information on how to become a donor, click here.

Or for more information on the charity, click here.

Alternatively, you can contact Androulla from Leukaemia Cancer Society on 07872 633508 or 020 8374 4821 for more details.


Article written by London Greek Radio

The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, have compiled useful support information for our UK Cypriot diaspora and Cypriot nationals currently in the UK. This initiative is also supported by the Presidential Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus.

We will continue to update this page, so if you know a service that we should be including please let us know, by email: enquiries@cypriotfederation.org.uk. Also, subscribe to our mailing by clicking here to get our regular updates.

London Greek Radio – working together with partners, businesses and organisations to support our communities.

Shopping/delivery support
If you are elderly, or vulnerable, and need help getting food or essential supplies, email us at enquiries@cypriotfederation.org.uk, or call us on 0208 4459999. We will put you in touch with a team of young volunteers, organised by NEPOMAK UK, who can help you.

Areas covered include North, Central & East London; Manchester; Canterbury; Colchester; Glasgow; Hertfordshire; Ipswich; Harlow; Bury St Edmunds Newmarket; Red Lodge; Kentford; Stansted; Bishop’s Stortford; Saffron Walden; Harlow; Buntingford; Hertford; Birchanger; and Newport. These areas depend on volunteer availability, so may increase as we find more volunteers. Please do check back if you cant see your area on the list.

More HERE


Article written by London Greek Radio

Cypriot leukaemia sufferers have 20% chance of a donor match help improve the odds for Stella.

Before Christmas, an urgent bone marrow appeal was launched for Stella Charalambous, a 45-year-old mother of one who has leukaemia. Among those spearheading the campaign to find her a blood donor match is her friend of 34 years, Naz Hassan.

The two, pictured above with another close friend Tina Agsti, are originally from North London, and while Stella and her family now live in Cyprus, the ladies have remained in close contact.

Stella’s appeal for a donor was initiated by Tina, who teamed up with Androulla Stylianou, head of the UK-based Leukaemia Cancer Society (020 8374 4821), a vital support organisation for numerous Greek and Turkish Cypriots seeking blood donors.

Stella’s friends quickly rallied round, sharing details of the appeal online and with ethnic community media. They have also distributed flyers and posters in North London, where there is a large Cypriot community, in a bid to drive up registration numbers and help find a donor for their seriously ill friend.

Their appeal is supported by British blood charity DKMS, which can arrange a mass swab testing session for groups, or they can send a special kit home for people to do their own swab test.

Currently, the odds of finding a match for Cypriots, whether Greek or Turkish, is very low due to the small number of people from both communities being registered on the global blood register. The two communities share similar genetic codes, making them highly suitable for blood donor matches.

“As a community, we need to pull together. People shouldn’t just read and ignore this appeal. We really have to help each other, as this illness can strike any of us at any age. So please take the (swab) test – your blood could potentially save a life,” urged Ms Hassan.

To help improve the odds of survival for blood cancer patients of Cypriot, Turkish, and Middle Eastern heritage, simply register online at dkms.org.uk for a cheek swab kit. It’s open to all UK residents who are healthy and aged between 17- 55 years of age.

The swab test itself is a painless, 30-second procedure. You use a cotton bud to rub on the inside of your cheek, which is returned to DKMS in a sealed bag. Its labs will do the necessary tests and add your details to the UK blood register, which is accessible to other blood charities worldwide. You only need to do the test once and it will cover you until you reach 55.

Where a match is generated, the process for donating stem cells is far easier and less invasive than previously, and there are no known health risks. You simply give blood, which is used for stem cell treatment of the patient with blood cancer.

The Leukaemia Cancer Society, Tel: 020 8374 4821.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Parikiaki Newspaper together with the Cypriot Women’s League is organising a Charity Dinner in memory of Maria Nicolaou Adamou on Friday 29th November 2019, 7.30pm at the Cypriot Community Centre Earlham Grove, Wood Green, London N22 5HJ.

Maria Adamou wife of Adam Adamou of Nostalgia Band, and daughter of Neophytos and Evoulla Nicolaou sadly passed away on Saturday 15th October 2016 at the age of 46.

Tickets Adults £20, Children under 12 years of age £12 includes Dinner.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Radiomarathon for Children and Adults with Special Needs. A Raffle Draw will take place with many rich prizes as well as bingo.

For further information please call Parikiaki on 020 8341 5853 or Neophytos Nicolaou on 07778 050 320.


Article written by London Greek Radio

A Just Giving page has been created in an attempt to raise £35,000 to help with the costs of bringing back a Greek-Cypriot dad to London, to receive expert care and treatment at a hospital close to his home.

The man’s children desperately want to bring dad back home to receive the appropriate amount of support and loving care, while doing what they can to ensure he fully recovers.

The daughter Maria Panayiotou has set up the Just Giving Page ‘Please Help Bring My Dad Home’ in which explains the weeks of coping with her father’s sudden ill-health, whilst on holiday in Cyprus. Maria and sister Androulla have been at their father’s side continuously which has meant being separated from family and absent from work for many weeks.

On the 11th August 2019 the father suffered a severe Intracerebral Haemorrhage to his brain and was taken to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at Nicosia General Hospital.

On 11th September, due to overcrowding at the General Hospital he was moved to the ICU at the American Medical Centre in Nicosia where he continued to receive treatment.

Since then 9 weeks of treatment has continued and the father has defied the odds with showing some signs of improvement.

The siblings want to better support dad, surrounded by his closest and most dearest family members at his very side. Being of course given the chance to be at home with his loved ones, Maria Panayiotou writes on the Just Giving Page: “Being away from our families in the UK has been so tough and desperately need to bring him back here with us so we can continue to support him and where he can continue to receive the treatment he requires in order to recover.”

The family need help to raise money to fly him back over to the UK so he can receive the expert care he needs.

If you are able to support the family and donate ANYTHING it would be greatly appreciated!

Just Giving page to make your donation, right here, this very link:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/1rwj9l4ltc


Article written by London Greek Radio

National Thalassaemia Day in memory of Costas Kountourou on Saturday 19th October 2019, Open Day, why not be screened for the world’s most common genetic blood disorder that you may not know you carry, you may only save of your future generations .

Don’t wait until it’s too late, find out now, in partnership with the NHS Blood and Transplant at UK Thalassaemia Society, 19 The Broadway, Southgate N14 6PH, 0208 882 0011, ukts.org

The United Kingdom Thalassaemia Society (UKTS) will be launching National Thalassaemia Day (UK) on 19th October 2019. This date has been chosen to mark the 10-year anniversary of the passing of Costas Kountourou, a prominent figure in the world of thalassaemia.

On this date, the charity will open its doors to the general public to walk in and be tested for thalassaemia and other conditions.
At the open day UKTS will:
• Offer free screening to the general public for thalassaemia and sickle cell trait.
• Offer counselling and guidance (for positive test results).
• Partner with NHSBT for “know your type” blood testing / promote the need for blood donation.
• Offer free screening for Hepatitis C and other infected diseases.

Whilst these are the main activities UKTS is concentrating on, additional events are being planned for the day. The society is extending an invitation to all interested to join them on the 19th October 2019 as this is a major awareness-raising event. Given that there are over 300,000 carriers with thalassaemia in the United Kingdom and that it is a hereditary condition, clearly there are many members of the public who could benefit from thalassemia screening.

Thalassaemia is a chronic blood disorder affecting the genes that are responsible for production of red blood cells. What this means is that patients with thalassaemia are dependent on regular blood transfusions throughout their lives. Without them, they would die in early childhood. Thalassaemia developed as an evolutionary response to malaria which is why it mainly affects those coming from regions such as Asia and South East Asia, the Mediterranean, South America, the Caribbean, Northern and Central Africa and the Middle East. Whilst it was initially prevalent in these regions, due to the migration of communities over the centuries, anyone can be at risk. In fact, 10,000 babies are born with thalassaemia every year. This is why it is so important to be screened.

In the UK, women are typically offered screening after they become pregnant despite it being available to everyone at any point in time. The blood test is usually done between 8-10 weeks. If the expectant mother has a positive result, the father of the baby is then screened. This process can sometimes, despite the best efforts by the NHS team, take the pregnancy up to 16 weeks, at which point it may be too late.

All it takes is a blood test to find out if you carry the gene! It’s better to be informed now so you can protect your unborn children, rather than be surprised later.

Please support this event in order to prevent children being born with thalassaemia.

On Saturday 19th October 2019

UK Thalassaemia Society flyer


Article written by London Greek Radio

Young UK Cypriot Talia Tosun was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of blood cancer, in May. Unfortunately, after undergoing unsuccessful chemotherapy, she now needs a stem cell transplant.

The best possible match for Talia would be from someone of Cypriot, Turkish, Greek or Middle Eastern descent, but finding a donor has proved difficult since there is currently a huge lack of black, Asian or minority ethnic donors on the Anthony Nolan register.

For someone with blood cancer, a stem cell transplant could be their last chance of survival. Your support could help find their matching stem cell donor and give Talia a second chance of life.

Could you be a match for Talia?

  • Aged between 16-30
  • In good health
  • Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish or Middle-Eastern
  • Living in the UK

Fit the criteria? What happens next…

  • Sign up to the Anthony Nolan register – www.anthonynolan.org – you’ll be sent a swab pack in the post. Simply swab both inner cheeks and send back.
  • If you’re a match, they’ll be in touch to verify whether you’re healthy and happy to proceed
  • 90% of donors have their stem cells collected through the bloodstream in a simple process called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection.
  • Only 10% of donors have their stem cells collected via the bone marrow itself. There are myths about this being a painful procedure, but it is mostly performed under general anaesthetic.

Someone out there – maybe you, maybe one of your friends or family members – could be a full match. Please consider registering with Anthony Nolan as a bone marrow donor! You could save a life.

To spread the word and find out more, please visit HERE

#SwabForTalia

Please join us in the Amber Rooms at Regency Banqueting Suite N17 6UR on Monday 14th October between 10am and 5pm.


Article written by London Greek Radio

From Home to Home Walk
A walk in aid of Alzheimer’s Society
Saturday 21 September 2019, meet at 2pm at Anastasia Lodge

Please help us reach our fundraising target and, better still, please join us for a 4km stroll between our care homes in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. Families, small children and pets all welcome! The route is also fully wheelchair accessible.

Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Our private care homes and day care services in Southgate and Winchmore Hill provide our community with residential, nursing and dementia care and support 365 days a year.

To find out more visit www.autumn-gardens.com or contact us on 020 8344 2600 or email info@autumn-gardens.com.

Anastasia Lodge 10 -14 Arundel Gardens, Winchmore Hill N21 3AE
Autumn Gardens 73 Trent Gardens, Southgate N14 4QB


Article written by London Greek Radio

Think Zumba take on a 8.5 mile charity walk from East Finchley to Westminster on Sunday 5th May as part of a North London Hospice Big Fun Walk.

The group will don sashes, charity t-shirts and trainers to take on the ‘annual’ challenge. In the preceding years of 2017 and 2018, Think Zumba in Barnet have collectively raised £11,000, and these funds have been earmarked for the North London Hospice. Every penny that is raised has directly gone to support the work of this fantastic place.

The group have been helping raise money for the North London Hospice as an appropriate charity to raise funds for, to help patients become more comfortable whilst having terminal cancer.

We would be ever so grateful to anyone who would give even the smallest donation to help the group raise the necessary funds.

Here is a link to their MoneyGiving Page: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/THINKZUMBA

Here is a link to their MoneyGiving Page: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/THINKZUMBA


Article written by London Greek Radio

The Cypriot Community Centre presents a fundraising evening – A tribute to Elvis performed by George Elias – on Saturday 30th March 2019 at its premises at Earlham Grove, Wood Green, London N22 5HL.

Tickets £25 – includes a 3 course meal. Get yours now by calling 020 8881 2329 or email: cycc6363@gmail.com.

George Elias is a full-time professional ETA (Elvis Tribute Artist). His respect for Elvis and his vocal authenticity and repertoire are phenomenal.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see George perform Elvis’ songs with great passion!

And of course fundraising proceeds will go to the Cypriot Community Centre to help them continue their wonderful work, within the wider community.


Article written by London Greek Radio