News & Events
A special cheque presentation of £9,003 was made by BAPS Charities UK at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 6 March 2011. £5,001 was payable to the Brittle Bone Society, £2,001 to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and £2,001 to Kingston University. The presentation coincided with the remembrance of Meesha Patel who passed away one year ago.
Meesha Patel was born on 6 March 1985 with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), or ‘brittle bone disease’. Despite her physical disability, she was always a joy to be around and never allowed her wheelchair-bound state to hamper her studies – she completed her BSc and MSc in Biomedical Sciences at Kingston University – or even her participation in BAPS’s sponsored walks to raise money for various charities. She was also an active and valued member of the youth forum at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London. Meesha passed away last year at the age of 24.
The cheques were presented by Jayesh Patel (Meesha’s brother) and AP Patel (Trustee of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir) to representatives of the three charities.
John Phillips, Vice Chairman of The Brittle Bone Society, shared in his address: “I have been struck by the warmth of the words that people used to describe Meesha. For anybody to achieve an MSc in Microbiology is a fabulous thing, but that’s even more so for somebody like Meesha who had to overcome the challenges of living with OI. Meesha also loved to help The Brittle Bone Society and people like her who had OI. She was a leading light in the charity. She had many friends in the charity, particularly young people, and she was the brainchild behind developing the youth section within the charity called ‘Voice’.
“This cheque is a very large amount of money for The Brittle Bone Society. We are very grateful to receive it. I would like to assure everybody that the monies will be well used in providing equipment such as powered wheelchairs which will help people like Meesha who have OI.”
Dr Mark Fielder, Reader in Medical Biology at Kingston University, spoke of his gratitude and also of Meesha’s strength and courage. “Meesha was a very special part of our lives at Kingston University. She changed our lives in very many ways. Meesha was an inspirational person who came from the heart. Her MSc work has led us to a whole new area of work that we are developing at the University. She was loving, kind, thoughtful, and always put others first. Thank you very much for the donation. We will use it wisely.”
Finally, the Ambassador for Great Ormond Street Charities, Graham Storey, offered his thoughts: “The money that has been donated today will go towards a £50m rebuild for the Hospital which is required to supply the service it does. In tribute to Meesha, I would like to thank BAPS Charities for the funds received for the Great Ormond Street Hospital.”