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Orin Lewis: 'Daniel will be smiling over my OBE'

PROUD: Orin Lewis with wife Beverley and Daniel

AFRICAN CARIBBEAN Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) co-founder and CEO Orin Lewis says his late stepson Daniel De-Gale “will be smiling” over his OBE honour.

Lewis received an OBE for his contribution to healthcare in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s Honours list.

He and Daniel’s mother, Beverley De-Gale started the ACLT to help raise awareness of the need for donors and to find a matching bone marrow donor for Daniel. Daniel later overcame childhood leukaemia and inspired thousands of black and mixed-race people to become blood and bone marrow donors.

Sadly, Daniel died from unrelated health complications in October 2008, aged 21.

But his stepfather, who continues to work tirelessly with the ACLT to raise awareness, 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. I feel very honoured, very lucky. I gladly accept the OBE on behalf of myself, but more importantly on behalf of my family, Beverley and Daniel.

“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 (in October 2011) and now I have received one.”

Lewis said he was looking forward to the investiture ceremony. “It will be a special moment. It feels special and I thank the community for supporting us and continuing to support us in what we do, which is trying to save lives.”

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