The ACLT Gift of Life Celebrity Fundraising Ball is one of the glitziest events in the entertainment calendar with a roll call of the biggest celebrity names on the guestlist, but behind the glamour lies the very real and sobering purpose of fundraising and raising awareness of the importance of organ donation.

Leading blood cancer charity ACLT will host the 12th edition of its annual fundraising event on Saturday 28 September 2019 at the 5-star InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel, One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair.

Hosted by Smooth FM’s new drivetime show presenter Angie Greaves, this year’s ACLT Gift of Life ball will see some of the UK’s most famous faces from the world of TV, music, film, sport, politics and business in attendance, all doing their bit to raise much needed funds, whilst applauding the real heroes of the night, previously unknown individuals who have given the ultimate gift, the gift of life.

 

This year’s ball will once again shine a light on African and Caribbean unsung heroes within organ donation in the UK, individuals who have become living donors (through the donation of an organ) to save the life of their loved one. The night will also highlight the stories of patients who are in desperate need to find a lifesaving donor to dramatically enhance or save their life. One such patient is BBC 1XTRA radio personality, DJ Ace.

Known for his jovial, fun nature, often catching jokes on the radio waves with the biggest names in music, many don’t know that Ace is currently living with kidney failure and requires a lifesaving kidney transplant to beat the illness.

ACLT celebrity ball
DJ Ace

Ace was first diagnosed with kidney failure aged 37. A few years ago, after a routine blood test, Ace was informed by doctors that his kidney function was gradually deteriorating. Throughout last year, Ace suffered regular vomiting episodes. This was when things really started to take a turn for the worse.

“I now need a transplant if I am to beat kidney failure. I’m not afraid of the operation I just hope it happens as soon as possible.”

Ace recently spoke about the state of his health. He said: “I visited the doctor and after they ran a few more tests, it was confirmed in May 2018 that my kidneys were not functioning as they should and that I would need to start dialysis three times a week to maintain my life.”

It goes without saying that Ace’s job as a radio DJ on one of the UK’s most popular radio stations is super hectic. He adds: “I’m a very busy person and I love what I do. My line of work can be unpredictable at times and calls for a lot of evening [jobs] and travelling. However, now my work has to fit around the 15 hours a week I’m at hospital. It can be frustrating at times.”

“I now need a transplant if I am to beat kidney failure. I’m not afraid of the operation I just hope it happens as soon as possible.”

Hearing his heart-breaking story highlights the importance of this event.

ACLT celebrity ball
ACLT founders: Orin Lewis OBE and Beverley De-Gale OBE with 2018 special guest, Emeli Sande (centre)

ACLT Co-founder Beverley De-Gale OBE said: “Gift of Life has been ACLT’s flagship fundraising event for many years. I’m excited Orin, the ACLT Team and I are able to bring it back once again. It’s an extremely important event because it showcases the physical impact of our work via real-life examples of lifesavers we’ve found and patients whose lives have been saved as a result.  The ball is a humbling experience for us all, but more importantly it’s a much-loved part of our calendar as it provides an opportunity for the audience to get energized to do what’s necessary to ensure our message carries on being heard and our lifesaving work continues.”

“At this year’s ball we will share our new campaign #GiveHopeGiftLife. We sincerely wish this becomes a key takeaway of the evening, so alongside our community – we can come together once again to save many more lives and find lifesaving donors who are readily available to donate to those in need.”


The Gift of Life Celebrity Fundraising Ball event is open to members of the public. Tickets, which include a drinks reception, three-course dinner, live entertainment auction and raffle, are £150.

Buy your tickets here.

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