Cyprus: SBA officer’s pride after receiving an honorary distinction

LIMASSOL – SBA Police Detective Constable, Zacharias Soleas, has revealed the pride he felt after receiving an honorary distinction by t President Nicos Anastasiades.

The award was given to the Dhekelia-based, 21-year police veteran, for his six years of voluntary work at the Karaiskakio Foundation based in Nicosia, for assisting in obtaining saliva samples for bone marrow donors.

Soleas was presented his award on 1 November at the Presidential Palace by Minister of Health, Michalis Hadjipantelas and president of the Karaiskakio foundation, Popi Kanari, in the presence of the President Anastasiades.

Speaking about his involvement with the Karaiskakio Foundation, he said his reasons to volunteer were rather close to home.

He explained: “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 and between 2015 and 2016 we moved to a transplant centre in Italy, where my daughter underwent a 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.”

Speaking after the ceremony, DC Soleas said: “It was a great honour to have been selected for this; it means so much to me.”

SBA Police Chief Constable, Chris Eyre, was full of praise for his officer and was delighted to see him receive an honorary distinction.

He said: “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 of 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.”

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