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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-11-11

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Kevin Dunne nominated for national charity award

FORMBY local Kevin Dunne is a finalist at this year's Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards (ANSA's). Kevin will join other dedicated supporters of the pioneering blood cancer charity at the House of Commons on November 28 to be celebrated for his hard work and determination. The ANSAs is held annually by the charity as a chance to recognise those who go above and beyond in supporting Anthony Nolan. Kevin has been nominated for the Individual Fundraiser of the Year award, which celebrates those who dedicate time to fundraising for Anthony Nolan.

Kevin, 70, has been fundraising for the charity for more than 2 years. His wife, Mary, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014 and had a StemCell Transplant from an anonymous unrelated Donor, the only 1 on the Worldwide Registers who was a Match, in October 2014. His brother Tony was diagnosed nine months later and received a second chance of life from his brother; Kevin who incredibly was a 10/10 match. One year after Mary's transplant, in October 2015, Kevin donated his Stem Cells to Tony.  Kevin says:- "The Hospital rang me up and asked if I'd get tested, but advised that there was only a one in four chance of a sibling being a match I went forward and I was the only one that matched, The Doctor said;- we're delighted to tell you, you're like identical twins this is very rare."

Now, Kevin has set himself the task of raising ₤100,000 for the charity, to help others find their life saving donors on the Anthony Nolan register. With this goal in mind, Kevin works tirelessly in his local community, holding collections in local supermarkets and the Town Centre. Kevin says:- "I have a list of 11 volunteers who help me to go into supermarkets and raise money for Anthony Nolan."

While his volunteers work shifts of 3 hours at a time, Kevin will stay in the store to collect money for up to 8 hours. Kevin often holds a stall in a supermarket for 2 or 3 days, raising both money and awareness in the local community for Anthony Nolan.

2 years after starting his fundraising journey, Kevin has already passed the ₤21,000mark for Anthony Nolan and a further ₤4,000 for other charities so is on his way to reaching his ₤100,000 target. In addition to raising money, Kevin has also generated engagement within the community; in person and by being featured in the local press. Kevin now has nine local politicians retweeting his events and Anthony Nolan Donor Appeals, and even has 2 local Councillors Gemma Peace and Denise Dutton regularly helping out at events.

In October 2016 Kevin named his group STEMCELLSCOUSERS and in the past year has added 1490 followers from all over the world to the twitter account and 100 to the Instagram account. Kevin regularly retweets StemCell donor appeals for patients from around the globe. Kevin is keen to recruit more Volunteers to the STEMCELLSCOUSERS group if anyone can spare 3 hours a month and would like to help you can contact Kevin, via email email.   He says:- "Both Anthony Nolan as a charity and raising awareness of stem cell transplants is the main focus of everything we do. My wife wouldn't be alive today without Anthony Nolan. When we 1st started a lot of people didn't know about the charity but now when people see us fundraising they say 'oh yeah, Anthony Nolan' instead of 'who is Anthony Nolan?'"

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a stem cell transplant. It also carries out vital research to make stem cell transplants more successful, and supports patients through their transplant journey. Henny Braund, Chief Executive at Anthony Nolan, says:- "Kevin has worked incredibly hard to raise both money and awareness for Anthony Nolan. He has successfully reached a large portion of his local community to spread the word about our work. While many people support Anthony Nolan, enabling us to carry out our lifesaving work, Kevin really has gone above and beyond in helping to raise money for our cause. This year's awards will be a fitting occasion to bring our wonderful supporters together and thank them for helping us to save the lives of three people every day."

The awards ceremony takes place, on 28 November 2017, in the House of Commons and winners will be announced at the event. For more information, visit:- AnthonyNolan.Org/Awards.


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