Illuminating Christmas, 19 years and counting… in honour of the Anthony Nolan Charity

BY MARIANNE GROS
toby@slpmedia.co.uk
 

The magic of Christmas comes in the form of fairy lights this year – and stem cells.

Retired taxi driver Gunaltay Mustafa has illuminated his house with a 1,000-bulb Christmas display for the 19th year in a row.

The aim of his festive lights is to raise funds and awareness for Anthony Nolan, the charity that saved his son’s life.

Anthony Nolan works to find matching stem cell donors for people with blood cancer and blood disorders.

Gunaltay’s son, Alex, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was four.

After three years of treatment he went into remission. When he was just 11, his leukemia returned for the second time.

Gunaltay Mustafa’s (above) with family Christmas lights house is now in its 19th year

Anthony Nolan searched the stem cell register and was able to find Alex a lifesaving stem
cell match.

Thanks to the donor that was found by Anthony Nolan, Alex is now a healthy 24-year-old with his whole life ahead of him.

Mustafa said: “Everyone in the area knows about the Christmas light house, and this year we have more lights than ever before.

The display brings a bit of Christmas cheer to Southwark every year, with the added intention of giving a little something back to Anthony Nolan.

It costs £40 for Anthony Nolan to add each new donor to the register, so the charity needs financial support to help it continue to give patients, their family and friends hope.

The charity also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

Senior community fundraiser at Anthony Nolan, Beatrix Passmore, said: “In raising funds and awareness, Gunaltay will help Anthony Nolan give blood cancer patients, like his son Alex, a second chance of life.”

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