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Gerdine Graham Foundation Leukemia Awareness

Earlier this year in February of 2018 Island Beats attended the 4th annual Leukemia fundraising event that was presented by Marcia A. Tull...

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Gerdine Graham Foundation Leukemia Awareness

Earlier this year in February of 2018 Island Beats attended the 4th annual Leukemia fundraising event that was presented by Marcia A. Tulloch and her wonderful husband Delroy Graham.



Marcia Tulloch herself is a survivor of Leukemia however not everyone is as blessed as Marcia to live to testify how blood donation can save lives.

We were able to speak with Delroy Graham who lost his sister to Leukemia which affects the black community more so than any other community.

Leukemia is a malignant progressive disease in which the bone marrow and other blood-forming organs produce increased numbers of immature or abnormal leukocytes. These suppress the production of normal blood cells, leading to anemia and other symptoms. 

In 2017 2, 900 People died from leukemia in Canada alone according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

In many cases once the search begins for a blood match it is by then too late and many cases end up in mortality.


The key to preventing death is in registering blood in the blood bank so that children, youth's and adults who need the transplant are able to be saved immediately.


Often times we hear the world "Leukemia" however are unaware at how quickly a life can be lost if not treated with stem cells and blood donation.


In the case of Laura Hillier who died at the young age of 18 awaiting a stem cell transplant whose dying wish was not to let her death be in vain




Laura Hillier was seen in the Toronto Star news paper pleading for help in order to live however due to lack of a match and limited resources she sadly did not make it.

Although leukemia is more predominant in black communities it is a disease that holds no barriers.

This 2019 at the 5th annual Gerdine Graham Foundation Leukemia awareness fundraiser we hope to see more people come out to actually learn more about the disease and how we can donate our blood and stem cells to saving more lives.

At the 2018 fundraiser we heard live testimony from those who survived and from those who lost a loved one to the disease and the urgency of donating blood and stem cells.

To lean more about how you can donate to Canadian Blood Services you can log on to:

This year we are hoping to see more people come out to become educated on this horrible disease called Leukemia and how to save more lives not just in one community however in ALL communities.

You can also visit the Gerdine Graham Foundation web site for more information on the foundation.

Although Delroy lost his beautiful sister to Leukemia he dedicates his time and efforts to increase awareness to let people know that they can do more than simply sympathize they can be a part of saving a life or even lives for that matter.


In 2012, Gerdine Graham, then 33 years old, was diagnosed with and received ongoing treatment for Leukemia.  She received remarkable care and support from the Doctors and staff at the hospitals where she received treatment.  As her condition worsened, the encouragement received by her family was remarkable and appreciated. He family acknowledge the hospital staff did the very best they could with the limited resources they had.  Regrettably, on October 23, 2014, at the age of 35, Gerdine succumbed to her ailment. Her older brother Delroy was very devastated at her loss. He had migrated to Canada when she was young, and had lost the opportunity of seeing her grow up.  In acknowledging the fact that our black community has been experiencing the loss of loved ones to varying cancers, he decided to honor her memory.  With the support of his partner Marcia A. Tulloch The Gerdine Graham Foundation was birthed in honor of her memory.


This upcoming 2019 the aim is to write more stories than survival than of loss due to Leukemia. For more information or being a part of this awareness please feel free to call: 647-971-6656.

Last year the support from the community that attended was amazing this year we hope that more members of the community will come and support and become educated on prevention which as they say is better than the cure.



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