Former officer named one of five new Deputy Lord Lieutenants
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A former Leicestershire police officer who twice battled leukaemia has been named one of the county’s five new Deputy Lord Lieutenants.
Amrik Basra – known to many as Rik – served with the force between 1985 and 2015.
Having first been diagnosed in 2009, Rik was given the all-clear, but just two years later was told he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
The search – which involved The Anthony Nolan Trust – began to find a suitable donor. The force held an event at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre during Diwali celebrations to try and find someone who might be able to come to Rik’s aid. He was told the best match was likely to be an Asian man aged between 18 and 30.
But, despite the efforts of the community, it became apparent there were also a shortage of donors from Asian communities.
Eventually – and thankfully – a a stem-cell donor was found in Germany and – following a successful transplant on Christmas Eve in 2011 – he beat the disease once more.
Following the transplant, Rik – along with his wife Kas – pledged to recruit 3,000 more donors from the South Asian community to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.
Not one to be defeated, they succeeded in their efforts. They set up a series of events where people could register as a donor. Rik’s determination led to more than 3,100 Asian donors signing up.
He has gone on to set up the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign, which encourages people of all ethnicities and backgrounds to join the donor register. To date, more than 10,000 people have registered as donors thanks to Rik’s efforts.
The role of Deputy Lord Lieutenant will see Rik represent the Lord Lieutenant - Michael Kapur OBE – in his absence at local ceremonies and official events across the county.
Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “As a force, we delighted that Rik has been named one of Leicestershire’s five new Deputy Lord Lieutenants and we wish him the very best of luck in his new role.
“He is a remarkable man who has overcome everything life has thrown at him and we couldn’t be more proud of his work both as a police officer and in raising awareness of such a dreadful disease.
“Thanks to his efforts, thousands of people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have registered with The Anthony Nolan Trust. I would encourage people across our communities to continue supporting Rik’s work and consider registering as a donor.”