Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust: supporting African children that suffer from Burkitt lymphoma cancer

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Archive for September, 2011

Acclaim from Gipsy Lane

The enthusiasm of Dr Peter McCormick’s ‘Caring for Children with Cancer in Africa’ event at Thorpe Malsor Church was fantastic.

It was an excellent night – we do have some talent in Northamptonshire.

Mark Pescott played well and Lewis Mobbs and the Spectrum Choir were excellent. Faryl Smith, BTMAT’s patron, has a lovely voice, and she sang ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ by Puccini. Every word gave goose bumps to the skin.

The Church came alive that night.

Thank you for making my night out so wonderful.

Jasmain Philps; Gipsy Lane, Kettering; in a letter to Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.

Help from on high…

The Anglican clergy in Northamptonshire north, have been burdened regarding their Healing Ministry. They planned a Synod, and looked for a speaker; my name came out of the clerical hat.

So it was that I addressed a notable company of men of God, and their sundry supporters, at their meeting in All Saints Church, Kettering, last evening. I had but 10 minutes to put across to them, our enterprises of great pith and moment, and to convince them that their individual and several prayers might be answered in their support of BTMAT.

Then I left them, and drove home to watch Rugger on TV.

Watch this space!

Peter.

Were you there?

I have recently discovered a new hymn; heard it twice on Radio 4, (act of worship; 9.45am; LW only). Subsequently found in the Anglican Hymn book; liked the combination of humanitarian and Christian ethics in it.

Thought it would go well on the organ, and so wrote out 5 variations for it, for the pipe organ in Warkton church; a different registration for each verse. Lovely effect; starts pianissimo; gradually builds through crescendo, to a final fortissimo allargando

Here are the first and fifth verses:

When I needed a neighbour were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name don’t matter; were you there?

When I needed a healer were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer were you there?
And the creed and the colour and the name don’t matter; were you there?

Trustees of BTMAT strive to meet these pleas for our African neighbours; we were there, and we are there!

Peter.

Livewires

‘Livewires’ is the name given to a young people’s group at the Baptist Church in Kettering; the home town of BTMAT.

Kettering Baptists have helped the Trust greatly in recent years. The Livewires had a further plan; ‘let’s take the number of miles from Kettering to Banso; a sea route, taking in the Canary islands – not the official flight route – and let’s run it and walk it and swim it, until all our miles add up to the total distance, and let’s get sponsorship for every stage of the journey’.

The swimming miles were done in Kettering’s municipal pool (free of charge courtesy of the town council), and the footwork took place in the Fuller Baptist’s large games room.

This they did. Apparently suchlike efforts are called ‘exercisathons’ (a word not to be found in the Oxford English Dictionary!), and the Trust has recently received a cheque for £2,200 as a result of this initiative. Pretty good – OR WHAT?!
BTMAT’s thanks go out yet again to the local Baptists and their athletic youth.

One that got away…

Sadly, not every story from Africa has a happy ending; especially in dealing with child cancer. The following events happened earlier in 2011.

Trustee Dr Paul Wharin received an email whilst he was in Cameroon, from colleagues at a small mission hospital in Tchad – to the north of Cameroon. They had received a child with Burkitt’s lymphoma, but their hospital had not the power to investigate or treat the child. Paul advised they sent the child at once to Banso Baptist Hospital, Cameroon – the most northerly of our hospitals. Travel would be by road; a miserably long, hot journey, in crowded minibuses, punctuated by armed gendarmes and road blocks. For reasons which escaped us, the child eventually arrived at the southernmost of our hospitals – Baptist Hospital Mutengene – a good 200 miles further on than Banso Baptist Hospital. The child’s tumour had in the meantime grown hugely, and was obstructing his breathing. On admission he was in extremis, and though our competent and conscientious doctor at BHM commenced the necessary preliminaries of treatment at once, the child died the next morning.

The difficulties at the time of admission were compounded by the fact that language barriers hindered progress. Dr Edouard telephoned a contact in Yaounde – the capital – to get translation done over the phone.

A further sadness was that the carer who brought the child – a Muslim lady, not a parent – absconded, leaving the corpse at the hospital. This is not a rare event; security men at hospital gates have not only to keep unwanted people out, but to keep potential absconders in; especially those who have left dead relatives behind, or are attempting to avoid the hospital bill.

The local Imam was contacted, and he arranged for the dead child’s body to be removed.

We have lessons to learn from this tragedy. Communications, language, religion, culture, and travel all have to be considered; and quickly, for Burkitt’s lymphoma cannot wait.

Concert at Thorpe Malsor church

The Rector and Churchwardens of Thorpe Malsor C of E Church, Northamptonshire, invited us to arrange a musical concert in the Church. This took place on August 27th.

Peter McCormick, Faryl and Alan Thyer pictured in an article in the Evening Telegraph

Peter McCormick, Faryl and Alan Thyer pictured in an article in the Evening Telegraph

Faryl singing in Thorpe Malsor church

Faryl singing in Thorpe Malsor church

Concert performers in Thorpe Malsor church

Concert performers in Thorpe Malsor church

Mark Pescott at the organ in Thorpe Malsor church

Mark Pescott at the organ in Thorpe Malsor church