Britain’s Got Talent: Vote for grieving Wembley mum’s B Positive Choir to raise awareness of sickle cell disease
PUBLISHED: 12:06 29 May 2018
A grieving Wembley mum is urging the public to back her sickle cell disease sufferers’ choir in the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final tonight.
Simonne Kerr, who sings with the B Positive Choir, is urging the public to support their campaign for more blood donors and vote for them in tonight’s TV talent show.
The choir, made up of singers whose lives have been affected by the illness, face a public vote as they perform once again for judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
Members are asking the public to “rise up” as they did during the auditions and support them during their journey.
They wish to inspire people to become blood donors and hope they will go through to the finals on Sunday, with a chance to sing at the Royal Variety Performance.
Simonne told the Brent & Kilburn Times: “I had no idea the judges were going to put the choir forward. At first I thought ‘really?’ – I couldn’t believe it. The reaction from the judges and the four ‘yes’ votes – after that we became a bit more confident and now we’re rehearsing and hope we go through.”
The 31-year-old’s only child Kavele died in 2015 from complications associated with sickle cell disease.
The disease, the most common and fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK, is caused by red blood cells that assume an abnormal shape, decreasing their flexibility and resulting in various complications.
It is especially common among the Afro-Caribbean community where blood donation is vital.
Simonne said she discovered she carried the trait while pregnant and was told there was a high risk her child would be born with it. “He was rarely sick but then became ill, literally, overnight,” she said. “He’d gone to school, fine, came home, fine, went to bed, fine, then woke up vomiting and had a high fever. I called the ambulance but the call was categorised incorrectly. I just don’t think they knew how urgent sickle cell can be.”
At the hospital, doctors tried to give the little boy a blood transfusion but it was too late.
Simonne, who now works as a haematology and oncology nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, added: “For a long time I couldn’t talk about it. Still sometimes it’s hard.
“The choir is massive therapy. It really helps as a lot of the people have sickle cell themselves. It’s nice to see them when they are well. Sometimes they come to practice after they’ve had a crisis. It’s uplifting to see these adults living their lives and living to a great age.”
As well as her job and weekly choir rehearsals, she volunteers for the Sickle Cell Society in Harlesden and is signed up to help young children during the school holidays.
“It’s the first time I’m doing that,” she said. “I’m excited about it. I think I’m in a better place to deal with it going forward.”
She added: “It’s just unfortunate people don’t know about sickle cell and the importance of blood donation which is why I support the choir’s campaign 100 per cent and I really hope the public supports us.”
Britain’s Got Talent is on tonight from 7.30pm to 9pm.
Follow the choir using the Twitter handles and hashtags @BPositivechoir, #BPositiveChoir, @GiveBloodNHS, @BGT and #BGT, or visit blood.co.uk/Bpositive.
Vote to get them through to the final at itv.com/britainsgottalent/app