Britain’s Got Talent: Wembley mum sings to boost blood donors with B Positive Choir
PUBLISHED: 18:19 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:41 22 May 2018
A Wembley mother whose six-year-old son died of Sickle Cell disease is urging the public to back her choir if they get to sing before judges at the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals.
Simonne Kerr hopes to belt out a tune with the B Positive Choir if they face judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams during next week’s live semi-finals which start on Monday.
The choir, made up of people whose lives are affected in some way by blood donation, will find out this Saturday if they’ve made it through.
In last month’s BGT auditions the choir made the judges cry with their performance of Andra Day’s Rise Up and received a standing ovation from the 4,000-strong audience.
They are asking the public to “rise up” and support them during their journey to inspire people to become blood donors and hopefully to the final and a chance to sing at the Royal Variety Performance.
Simonne said: “I had no idea they 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 yeses, after that we became a bit more confident and now we’re rehearsing just in case we go through.”
The 31-year-old tragically lost her only child Kavele in 2015 due to complications associated with sickle cell disease, the most common and fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK.
The disease is caused by red blood cells that assume an abnormal shape, decreasing their flexibility and resulting in a risk of various complications.
It is especially common among the Afro-Caribbean community.
Simonne said she discovered she carried the trait while she was pregnant with a high risk her child would be born with it.
“He didn’t get sick very often, maybe once or twice a year. Then he just became ill, literally, over night. 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 doctor’s tried to give the little boy a blood transfusion but it was too late.
Simonne, who 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. Alot 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 her weekly choir rehearsals, she volunteers for the Sickle Cell Society based in Harlesden and is signed up to help young children during the school holidays. “It’s the first time I’m doing that, I’m excited about, I think I’m in a better place to deal with it going forward.”
The choir will find out if it’s got through to the semi-finals during Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent ahead of the live competition from Monday.
“It’s so nice to be with everyone. It’s been tiring but so much fun. I deal with sickle cell patients on the ward and it can be so morbid when people are so ill. It’s nice to be with sickle cell sufferers who are well. It’s not all sadness and pain.”
NHS Blood and Transplant needs 10,000 new donors from the black community to provide life-saving treatment to people with sickle cell disease.
Simonne 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.”