New honour for Bexhill Giants founder Eric
Bexhill Giants founder Eric Douglin was given a life-saving transplant using a kidney from the woman who became his wife.
Now he has been invited to join the Kidney Research UK Fundraising Committee and play an integral role in planning events and raising awareness of the disease throughout the country.
Not only that but next Friday, March 15, Eric will hold a tournament at Freedom Leisure to raise funds for Kidney Research UK and Cancer Research UK. He was chosen to be on the committee because of his “skills and passion in the cause” and it is hoped the team will make “significant impact” by working together to fundraise and educate the public about the important issues associated with the disease. The first meeting will be on Friday March 8 and Eric is looking forward to it. He said: “It did come as a surprise. But I have done stuff in the past such as hold tournaments and we have raised quite a lot of money. But I didn’t expect to get this invitation. It is really pleasing.”
Having married 19 months ago, Eric does not live here but maintains strong links with Bexhill through his work with the basketball team he set up and coaches, alongside son Craig, and Rhys who also plays in the team, and visits other family members living in town.
Eric commented: “I will be able to use my club Bexhill Giants Basketball as an efficient fundraising and awareness tool through out website and fundraising events. The Giants are planning an event for the World Kidney Day, Go Purple, which is actually on March 14, the next day at Bexhill Leisure we will play our home match in a purple kit endorsed by Kidney Research UK, and hope to raise funds on the day by donating £1 for every spectator who comes along. We want to get as many people along as possible.”
Now 49, Eric had chronic kidney disease which led to major surgery at Guy’s Hospital in London with an anxious wait to see if his body would accept the organ donated by Mandi. It did, and there were months of recuperation as both slowly regained their health. The drama of the operation was followed by the joy of Eric’s Christmas Day proposal and marriage in summer last year. This week he commented: “I’m feeling fine, everything is going well and the kidney is working really well with no signs of rejection, the transplant was three years on January 15 this year.
“Mandi and I have been married 19 months now, and I still live in Bromley, but attend Giants matches on a weekly basis and visit grandchildren and children who still live in Bexhill.”
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Weather for Bexhill-on-Sea
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North