Richard Coker Foundation Conducts Seminar On SCD at New Covenant Chuch, Ibadan, Oyo State

The New Covenant Church (NCC), Ijokodo, Ibadan nestles on an expanse of greenery  uncommon for a place of worship in the ancient city. There, on Saturday, 30th September  2017, the Richard Coker Foundation conducted an awareness seminar on Sickle Cell Disorder  (SCD).

It had rained for several days consecutively and that Saturday was no exception. Yet the  parishioners braved the rain and the resulting cold drought to attend an enlightenment talk on  a condition better known by its myths than by its realities.

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Many have had direct interaction with SCD if not in their nuclear but certainly in their  extended families – often times in both. The seminar was billed to last 90 minutes but in the  end it lasted over three hours.

It was the annual NCC women’s conference, where a health talk on topical health conditions is  the norm. President of the Covenant Women, Ijokodo Conference, Mrs. Asaolu commended  RCF for the seminar and enjoined attendees to pass insights gained on SCD to their respective  families and communities.

Participants received copies of African Sickle Cell News & World Report, courtesy RCF.

 

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THE GENOTYPE FOUNDATION (I CARE) SEMINAR – How to live with it and prevent the issue

The very enlightening seminar was held at MRC Hall, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja – Lagos.

In attendance was the  Hon. Commissioner for Women Affairs ( Lagos. State) as well as the Special Guest of  Honour, the First Lady of Lagos State who was represented by Mrs F.  Onanuga.

We had 328 people in attendance drawn from various Ministries, Education  Districts, corporate organisations, NGOs,

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people living with Sickle Cell Disorders,  their care givers and friends. The Lagos State blood bank staff were preset to collect blood  from free blood donors and to help distribute routine drugs for people living with sickle cell  disorder.

Speakers at the event included Prof Yemi Olatunji – Bello (LASUTH), Dr Annette Akinsete and Dr Ola (Head Behavioural Dept LASUTH). The event was indeed successsful.

JUNE OUTREACH – Ikorodu, Lagos

It was the monthly meeting of the Sickle Cell Club, Ikorodu, Lagos State,  Nigeria. The previous day, June 19, was World Sickle Cell Day, appointed  by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. In Nigeria, as  in most parts of the world, the 2017 Sickle Cell Day celebrations was a  week-long series of activities.

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Ikorodu Sickle Cell Club marked the day by distributing free SCD  medications and supplements to its members over 2 days.  The  medications and supplements were provided with 100% support from  Richard Coker Foundation (RCF).

The RCF also made donations to the African Sickle Cell News Foundation  Magazines and Dr. Amina Ogbachi, a club member facing the challenge  of kidney failure.

Richard Coker Foundation’s Visit to Agidimgbi Grammar School Ikeja Lagos

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By  : IJEOMA OKOLI  (emc3)

Summary of RCF’s visit to Agidimgbi Grammar School with the Genotype Foundation on Tuesday, 6th October 2015

SUMMARY OF VISIT TO AGIDIMGBI GRAMMAR SCHOOL

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The Richard Coker Foundation, as a continuation of The Genotype Group’s September event sponsorship visited Agidimgbi Grammer School in Ikeja to create awareness about the Sickle Trait and other blood issues. Also present at the event were Mr Kasim M Mufutau and Mrs Sunmon Ade who represented the Ministry of Health.

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While blood screening of the students (who had obtained permission from their parents prior to the date of event), Baba Epega of Richard Coker Foundation addressed the Students on Sickle cell and other blood issues. He also spoke to the students about hard work and the need to study and excel in their academics regardless of what career path they have chosen.

Singer/ Song writer, The Venus Bushfires sang her “Last Winter’s Sparrow” for the students which they enjoyed immensely. This was followed by an interactive session, giving the students an opportunity to ask questions and express themselves.

 

 

THE GENOTYPE FOUNDATION SEPTEMBER PROGRAMME (I CARE) VISIT

Genotype Visit 1 with Madame Doris (Blue)

The Genotype Foundation founded by Madame Doris Gbeminoye Ofuyaekpone was established in 1996. The Foundation is concerned with –

  1. Taking care of people with the Sickle Cell Disorder disease
  2. Creating awareness about the Prevention and Control of Sickle Cell Disorder
  3. Blood group Rhesus factor awareness
  4. Malaria control in Sickle Cell Disease
  5. Research and awareness creating on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (and beyond), through Information, Education and Communication (I.E.C), Screening and Counselling.

Genotype Visit 5 with kid handing keysGenotype Visit 7 Address

The Richard Coker Foundation (RCF) made substantial donations to support their September programme titled “I Care” for blood transfusions which took place at The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja Lagos on the 15th of September 2015.

Genotype Visit 10 IjeomaGenotype Visit 11 BannerGenotype Visit 13 Ade

Madame Doris opened the event attended by 100 guests by speaking about the accomplishments of the Foundation over the past 19 year. Some members at the event acknowledged and told their stories on how they had received help from the Foundation. She also encouraged guests to donate blood. A good number of guests at the event donated blood.

Genotype Visit 9 Address

Mr Baba-Jallah Epega on behalf of RCF addressed the audience and commended Madame Doris and her team for all their good work. He encouraged the audience to make healthy choices and stay hydrated. He also said that the Richard Coker Foundation will continue to support the Foundation as best as it can.  Dr Annette Akinsete educated the audience on the management of the Sickle Cell condition and the need to donate blood.

THE SICKLE CELL CLUB IKORODU VISIT

SC Ikorodu Visit 1SC Ikorodu Visit 6

The Sickle Cell Club Ikorodu, a subsidiary of The Sickle Cell Foundation quarterly meeting was organised by Mr Olajide Ayoola at the General Hospital, Ikorodu. The RCF made sizeable donations to support their Sickle Cell News Magazine and the local Foundation which helps to create awareness about the Sickle Cell condition and supports the entire Club members with the condition along with their families.

The RCF team attended their 15th September 2015 meeting and met an audience of about 70  mostly filled with mothers and children who had the Sickle Cell condition. Mr Baba-Jallah Epega sent Madame Julie Coker’s best from UK as he addressed the audience, commended their efforts and encouraged them to continue the good fight. He encouraged them to drink lots of water and seek help when needed. He spoke of his time as a brother and carer to Richard Coker empathising with the agonising pain that was felt when the crisis would occur. He also said that RCF would continue to help in the ways they could. The RCF branded bookmarks (50) were given as gifts to the audience.

Mr Ayoola heartily thanks RCF for all the donations made and the time taken to come to Ikorodu. He presented the case of a member, Dr Amina Ogbachi who is in need of a kidney transplant and requires about N2,500,000 for surgery. Mr Epega said that the RCF would also make a contribution to help the cause.

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Richard Coker-Enahoro: “Life, death & the legacy of a filmmaker with sickle cell anaemia”

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Richard Coker-Enahoro was born in Lagos to media royalty and legendary TV personalities Miss Julie Coker and Michael Enahoro, on 17th May 1972, who at the time were lauded as Nigeria’s married response to Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton.

 Miss Julie Coker’s Album Cover 1977

Miss Julie Coker wins a Lifetime Journalism Award 2014 

Both loving parents were unaware that they were carriers of the Sickle Cell Disease trait; so sadly Richard was born with the inherited condition of the red blood cells. The most severe form of this disorder is known as Sickle Cell Anaemia. Other disorders include Cooley’s anaemia, haemoglobin SC and haemoglobin SD disease.  Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and sickle or crescent shaped. When these hard and pointed red cells go through the small blood tube, they clog blood flow and break apart. This can cause pain, tissue damage and a low blood count, or anaemia. Sickle cell disease is not contagious.

He was endearingly known to his friends and family alike as,“Richard the Lionheart” for his vision, tenacity, inner strength and loving heart. With his parents’ work mainly based in Nigeria: and due to his delicate disposition and constant need to go to hospitals to oxidise his blood, at 7 years young Richard moved to the UK to live with his dear Uncle and Aunty Dr Ben & Mrs Ibiene Epega and family where he attended the private preparatory Holmewood House School in Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.

Richard & Foundation Chairman Baba Epega at Cannes Film Festival 1996 

His parents’ talents in Media & TV was also in his every fibre of his being. In England his love for the Arts was nurtured and flourished especially in the subjects of English language, English literature, theatrical plays, cinematography and music. At the age of 14 he made his 1st Music Video and won the Artist of the Year Prize at his secondary school Mayfield College, Mayfield, East Sussex, England.

                                 Mayfield College, East Sussex (Defunct)

Frequent returns to his parents in Nigeria further fuelled his love of the Arts. His excursions home did have an advantage, as a sickle cell disorder sufferer; he couldn’t contract malaria. Although an avid fan of sports and live entertainment Richard was forced to spend most of his early life in sick bays and the University College Hospital, London hospital wards due to his illness. Turning adversity to advantage he seized this opportunity and started writing scripts for short films and producing music videos for up and coming artists of all genres.

Seeing Richard had a talent for producing beauty through photography, cinematography and the written word; a lecturer from the National Film & Television School gave him a unique opportunity to attain a scholarship and study there for 3 years. Upon graduating he was snatched up by a prominent media company called Media Circus where he worked as a director and producer of short films & music videos.

The Richard Coker Foundation make a donation to St Peter’s Faji Church, Lagos Island May 2014

His work took him numerous times to international film festivals including Cannes where he rubbed shoulders & conversed with the glitterati and talented including Sigourney Weaver, Dennis Hopper, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas & the Cohen Brothers.

The Richard Coker Foundation make donation to the Kinabuti Iniatiative (Project Makoko) May 2014 

On the cusp of international acclaim Richard’s illness slowly began to take full control of his life when in his late twenty’s he contracted leukaemia as an offshoot of his inherent Sickle Cell Disease. Leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called “blasts“. Leukaemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases affecting the blood, bone marrow, and lymphoid system, which are all known as hematological neoplasms.

Although a treatable disease trough chemotherapymedical radiation therapyhormone treatments, or bone marrow transplant; although he fought it for over 2 years, Richard’s body relented to the attached on 29th May 2004,  2 weeks after his birthday in London.

The Richard Coker Foundation gives Alms to the Poor May 2014 

 

Aunty Julie Coker hands out Alms to the poor 

RCF Eye Clinic Patients , Lagos Island, May 2014 

RCF with Eye Clinic Doctor & Sister 

RCF hand over cheque to Kinabuti Initiative in the Guardian Newspaper 

RCF & Kinabuti Fashion Initiate donate in Makoko Village 


                            RCF make their way to Makoko Floating School 

Kinabuti Fashion Initiative on the way to Makoko Floating School 

    RCF & Kinabuti on canoe to Makoko Village’s Floating School 

RCF Aunty Julie surveys the floating village on the way to the school   

His legacy lives on through the Richard Coker Foundation https://twitter.com/TheRCFoundation   which is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to raise funds with specific regard to helping the underprivileged & aiding in the eradication of the Sickle Cell Anaemia Disease.  The foundation was established in late 2004 by his mother Miss Julie Coker, cousins Yewande, Baba-Jallah and Jay Jay Epega, brother Meschack Enahoro and many dear friends.

This story is about a lion in our midst whose life, although short, was not in vain as it has helped bring happiness to many and prolonged life to more than a few.

RCF donates to Genotype Foundation