British Bases Police Detective Constable Zacharias Soleas revealed his pride after receiving an honorary distinction from President Nicos Anastasiades for his bone marrow donor volunteer work.
The award was given to the Dhekelia-based, 21-year police veteran, for his six years of voluntary work at Nicosia’s Karaiskakio Foundation, for assisting in obtaining saliva samples for bone marrow donors.
Soleas was presented his award at the Presidential Palace by Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipantelas and the president of the Karaiskakio foundation, Popi Kanari, in the presence of Anastasiades.
Speaking about his involvement with the Karaiskakio Foundation, he said his reasons for volunteering were rather close to home.
“Soon after my daughter was born in 2013, she was diagnosed with a blood disease.
“With the assistance of the Karaiskakio Foundation, we took samples within the surrounding communities in an effort to find a possible bone marrow donor.
“In 2014, I was informed by Karaiskakio Foundation that a possible Greek Cypriot donor was found.
“Between 2015 and 2016, we moved to a transplant centre in Italy, where my daughter underwent successful treatment.
“After that, I took the initiative and offered my services to Karaiskakio Foundation, and after receiving the relevant training, I started obtaining samples which are registered in the bone marrow donor registry.
“I collect samples all over Cyprus out of the normal schedules and contribute to increasing the registry donor bank.”
SBA Police Chief Constable, Chris Eyre, praised his officer and was delighted to see him receive an honorary distinction.
“DC Soleas is an exceptional police officer who I am proud to have within the SBA Police.
“His commitment to Karaiskakio Foundation is a mark of what he does outside his police work to support vulnerable people in need.
“I am humbled by his contribution and commitment and am immensely proud of the recognition he received from the President.”