Thursday, 30 May 2013

My ThrowBack Thursday : Remembering DANNY WHYTE

It is another Thursday and around the social media circles, running around today (Trending as we call it) will be the very popular Throwback Thursday (#TBT). In as much as everyone will be throwing-back their past life photos and experiences, I decided to remember this personality who tried to fight and bring to bare what the ailment of LEUKAEMIA was and is back then.

This was a simple young and energetic man with the brightest of future in my opinion. He is credited for the Ghana Police Service's first website for which I know they are still grateful for such a platform granted them by this personality.

I met him briefly when I opted to volunteer for his foundation. It wasn't an interactive meet but he was very much of hope and belief that the step he was and had taken, was the right one even if he didn't benefit from it.

This personality is no other than the Late Mr. Danny Whyte of the Danny Whyte Ivor Burford (DWIB) Leukaemia Trust.

With respect to this admirable personality, I will let you know what Leukaemia is about briefly.

Leukaemia is a cancerous disease of the white blood cells in the body. It begins in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. Treatments include chemotherapy and in many cases bone marrow transplant to kick-start production of red blood cells.
Leukaemia affects both Black and White people and strikes at random while chronic varieties may exist for years before they are diagnosed. It is neither contagious nor hereditary but extremely fatal in most cases.
There are more than a dozen varieties of leukaemia, but the following four types are the most common:
• acute lymphocyte leukaemia (ALL)
• acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML)
• chronic lymphocyte leukaemia (CLL)
• chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML)

Okay now let's talk get to know him a little and how the foundation he created came about for which I revere and remember him this day.

Between February and early April 2004, Danny Whyte experienced a series of temperatures all of which were treated as malaria by his doctor in Accra, Ghana. It was during the forth encounter that he decided to get a second opinion from another doctor.

Full blood tests were carried out on him and he was referred to a Haematologist for further tests. After a thorough examination and some more blood tests, he was told that he had Leukaemia and was again referred to the Haematology Department at Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.

Danny had a bone marrow test done and about three days later he was called in to come and meet with his doctor for the results. Danny was told that the marrow test confirmed that indeed he had Leukaemia.

It was then explained to him that he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia -AML), and the urgency in starting treatment soonest. Danny had very little time and had to make some very crucial decisions.

Numerous blood and marrow tests were done so as to determine the course of chemotherapy to administer and over how long the whole treatment would take. To Danny's surprise, he was told it would be anything up to 6 months or more.

He spent 8 months at Kings College Hospital, London as an inpatient and had four courses of Chemotherapy during this time. In early December 2004, he was discharged and remained in the UK as an outpatient for a further 2 months.
Danny then returned to Ghana at the end of January 2005, having been given the all clear to start Danny Whyte, Ivor Burford Leukaemia trust (DWIB), a charity that aims at setting up a bone marrow register for people of African Origin and Mixed Race. Danny Whyte Ivor Burford Leukaemia Trust.

Danny then relapse on 29th June 2005 and had to be admitted again for another 5 months.

Unfortunately, his greatest fear had come true. This means that he had to be re-admitted into hospital and undergo another course of chemotherapy and this time, Danny will need a bone marrow transplant. For a match to be found for him, Danny needed people like you to act now and get tested.

This then brought about the establishment of the Danny Whyte Ivor Burford Leukaemia Trust. A brief description of what it's all about as you read on.

DWIB Leukaemia Trust (Ghana) was formed with the aim to increase awareness of leukaemia in the West African sub-Region and create access to effective diagnostic and treatment resources. Most of all, it aims to set up the first bone marrow register in West Africa, possibly at the Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.

One statement that he made that till this day still makes sense to me and I believe to everyone that reads this post was ; " I will feel fine, but would I feel the same to go about my business with little or no care for others who might be in my present position now or in future?
Should Black and mixed race people remain without help when afflicted?
I find the answers in the aims and objectives of the Danny Whyte and Ivor Burford Leukaemia (DWIB) Trust."

Even in his struggle and fight for his health, full recovery, Danny was positive and believed in people affected by this health problem getting help. Another statement that till this day breaks my heart that he didn't make it was, " I am conscious that my first concern should be towards my own recovery; but considering the difficulty in finding matching bone marrow donors and having regard to the fact that all international bone marrow registers are overwhelmingly in favour of Caucasians, I find my focus on what happens when I have had my cure".

Unfortunately, Danny Whyte didn't have his cure, and lost the battle in May of 2007 as he went to be with his maker. The strong and energetic man left the face of the earth and was buried on July, 2007.

Danny will forever be remembered by me and the many faithfuls that through his vision to have the bone marrow register set up, and benefited from.


For more information on anything Leukaemia related and if you have the desire to be a Bone marrow donor, log unto his his website for full information on how to here : DWIB

Bio insert:
Photo : Google, DWIB

Friday, 17 May 2013

Thank You Stars

Some call it faith, some call it love
Some call it guidance from above
You are the reason we found ours
So thank you stars

Some people think it's far away
Some know it's with them everyday
You are the reason we found ours
So thank you stars.

That's the mood in which I find myself this day. I have been a life appreciator and will always be. It's wonderful to always wake up to a new day even in my current state. I believe it will work out soon and conditions will be very much better and flexible.

Opening short poem is from one of my favourite alternative singers Katie Melua. This track is from her "Piece By Piece" album which has the very popular track "Nine Million Bicycles"

Never give up so easily, now, later or anytime in the future. Strive and pursue to hit the top to be successful in whatever venture of your live.

I guess this accounted for this status update to my Facebook account.

"Instead of giving myself reason why I can't, I give myself reasons why I CAN" !!!

Stick to the plan and the right course even though it might seem unreachable. And as my good friend and forward thinker Ato Ulzen Appiah would say always VIM!!

I will see you all successful soon you reading this blog post and we will share this post as a chat topic.

Positivity Rules.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Take it As It Comes

Confederation of African Football
This blog post was intended to be uploaded during the AFCON competition for which some few reasons delayed it. I am still of the conviction that the motive and lesson then can still be used today as it looks like they still exist in our various national teams.

So enjoy the 'then' 'now' blog post. Nothing is never late when there is a lesson to be learnt i guess right?

Why were Ghanaians so peeved? Don't they think Burkina Faso also deserved to write their own history? Should it always be the so called big boys of Africa?

We were never a force to reckon with from game one. Meanwhile we were telling ourselves what's the need if we don't play well and win because win was all that mattered in a game.

And o Kwasi Appiah, so you boycotted the presser for no reason given because it didn't go your way. That's a shame and a big disgrace to the sport.

Salute to Didier Drogba, who after loosing to the Nigerians went as far as the dressing room to congratulate them and grant an interview to the press stating, who he thought would win the tourney for which he predicted Nigeria.

Information got was that for no reason given the Coach Kwasi Appiah, boycotted the presser. So what the coach of the Black Stars was trying to tell the whole world was that, he didn't know at that stage there had to be an obvious winner as well as looser for one to progress to the next stage of the competition?

Well to some of us, we've had the opinion that the team had always been favoured by the referees and we were not playing any meaningful soccer to deserve such gestures.

For him being a former player, I think he should have known better.
Ghana Football Association

"Well the Black Stars has the opportunity to claim a medal in the 3rd place play off between Mali who we beat in the group stage. Also we should take note of the fact that about a year ago, such a scenario occurred in the AFCON in Gabon where they beat us to the medal after beating them in the group stage of the competition." [From original draft post]. But we lost that spot once again.

Hearts no doubt were broken when Burkina Faso won the semi-final clash against Ghana and for me I am happy for the sport as we can also write the history books that Burkina Faso also played in the final of an AFCON the same way history was made when Cape Verde, Togo, Ethiopia who all made it through to the next stage of the competition.

I love football and especially the Nations cup -AFCON. Let the best team win always.

Where the Cemetery Serves Other Purposes.

It was touted the most expected game to provide all the fireworks that a Classico of the two gaints in Ghanaian football will give.

On Sunday, 5th May, I decided to attend my 1st ever Hearts -Kotoko game as the May 9 incidence always scared me of going to such games between the two giant clubs in Ghana.

Grateful to Kofi Abanga of Accra Hearts of Oak, I was given a free ticket to attend the game. Well no doubt I am a full fan of the Oak Tree club and we are referred to as Phobia- Masters!!?
Great game by all standards with all the flashes of brilliance that such a game should provide. At the end the game ended with the two teams sharing the honors. It ended in a 1 all drawn game.

Ok I won't bore you with all the football talk because that does not really type in into my reason for the blog post.

Now the game ends and we all have to find our ways back home by whatever means. In trying to get a cab from the Parliament house side of the road to Kwame Nkrumah circle, I decided to pass through the Osu cemetary to pay a short visit and to pay some respect to my two late cousins buried there a few years back.

At the entrance I noticed a whole of things that made me to wonder whether I was entering a cemetary where some years back I believe is a place that, you had to have the strong heart to visit.

First thing I noticed was that the little space on the entrance had been used as parking space for the spectators with cars for which self appointed attendants were taking cash for helping car owners get a space to pack their cars. If I am not mistaking I counted about forty to sixty cars that were both being directed to leave the yard and those yet to be occupied by the owners.

Thinking that was absurd a behavior showed towards the dead, I was yet to face the shocker for which a guy I asked whether this happened often, the response was, "this is even small massa, if you go inside small, you go see what dey happen for here".

Out curiosity I decided to go a little further to have a look for myself what could have been going on there. Immediately, the thing that drew my attention were a group of guys with grown faces and facial hairs, sharing something. I then decided to pretend to be on the phone talking to somebody just not to raise any attention of spying to myself. In no time, smoke in the air, one of the guys had lit his and a few others were rolling theirs. I guess at this point you should get the kind of smoke in the air I am trying to refer to. Hmm you want me to tell you what is was? Come on folks you what I mean now? Lol!! They were really on cloud nine I guess as they sat on the various tombstones, sharing jokes, giggling and really fraternizing.

I then ignored them walking further into the cemetery trying to locate my cousins' tombstone to go do what I had come there to do. In negotiating a turn, behind a tree, was a sight that hmm, I wish I could take out but for the purpose of this post I feel like pitching it in no matter what.
I am sure you are like what aaa did this guy see that man no see before. Of course what aa did I see that man hasn't seen before, this 'couple' for which I initially saw the lady alone, realized that they were actually two. Simple they were making out seriously that, I am sure any passerby's presence wouldn't matter to them. My issue is not with them making out but seriously, like seriously, in the cemetery? How much horny were both of them that they couldn't keep it small till they reached home or even get some cool brothel around.
Or you say Nana Oye Lithur's order to close down all brothels was a case for them to have a qucikee there in the cemetery?

Have we lost respect for the dead that soon as a people where our traditions for which we were born into and that we are to inherit and rather make it richer, we close an eye to it and to have put up such practices there?

I am sure there are so many vices that go on there for which really must be looked at. I ask myself so many questions one of which was 'Do we have people who manage such places or even keepers'? These and many more for which I guess, I will get those answers very soon hopefully.

I guess I will leave it here and hope to finish this up sometime soon when some answers or even more of such vices that I believe is in disrespect to the dead and traditions for which our society and identity are built on appears.