Plasma Of Hope Is Officially Launched
We advocate for people with Sickle Cell and Thalasemia disease
On Saturday April 15, 2023, Mayor Rose Martin of Walsall cut the ribbon and officially launched Plasma of Hope, a UK registered charity created to support and advocate for people living with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia in the Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, and Dudley.
According to the founder and CEO Marie-Claire Kofi, the organisation was created during the darkest days of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 as a response to the outcry and dire need of sickle cell warriors who were shielding and could hardly attend hospital appointments of even get groceries. Even though Marie, who herself is a sickle cell warrior was shielding, she could not ignore the outcry of the children and families who were lost, so she braved the odds and thought it was time to set up this safe space and helpline for warriors in the Walsall.
First of its kind in Walsall, Plasma of Hope has been a source of hope for over 60 warriors and many more keep soliciting the services. With the support of its selfless volunteers, the charity has offered warriors a safe space for honest conversations and wellbeing (befriending services), advocacy services and daily support with basic needs and errands.
This official launching ceremony became a platform for testimonies, knowledge-sharing, networking, and a widespread announcement of Plasma of Hope’s activities in the borough and beyond.
Speaking at the launch, Her Lordship Mayor Rose Martin testified to the wonderful work Plasma of Hope has been doing in the Walsall community. She lauded the initiative and pledged to support the cause every time she was called upon to do so.
The founder was filled with gratitude throughout the ceremony, and she said Plasma of Hope was a dream come true for her whom many had written off and condemned to die. She is happy to have this platform where warriors can truly express their needs without shame or stigma. She promised to give it her best as long as she is strong enough to do so.
She also seized the opportunity to appeal to members of the BAME community present at the event to support warriors by giving ethnically matched blood to alleviate the warriors’ suffering and save their lives. She was supported by a long-standing donor, Margaret Forbin who also expressed how important it was for people of African heritage to donate blood in the UK.
It was an empowering ceremony, graced by the keynote speech of Chief Dr Asa’ah Nkokwoh, Specialist Consultant for Sickle Cell who has also been a mentor for Marie through out her advocacy journey. Dr Asa’ah explained with illustrations the daily struggles of the sickle cell warrior enabling participants to understand why they seem to always need support from the community. He advocated to all policy makers through Mayor Rose to create an enabling environment for people living with sickle cell and thalassaemia to have a better quality of life.