Royal Engineer Peace-keepers Help Fight Cancer
Capt. Vance White
First published in
SFOR Informer#133, February 28, 2002
The soldiers of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
Team stationed in Sipovo and Banja Luka, rowed, cycled and
ran their way back to the United Kingdom to raise more than
1,500 pounds (2,400 Euro) for The Anthony Nolan Trust.
Sipovo - This trust is a charitable organisation that conducts
research to find a cure for leukemia (commonly known as 'cancer
of the blood'), maintains a database of possible donors and
is involved in bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantation.
Cpl. Ian 'Dixie' Dickson, a Number 2 with the EOD troop from
the 21 Field Squadron, deployed last September with the idea
of doing something to raise money for the Trust. The other
members of the EOD section eagerly agreed to help raise money.
"I have a friend back home who developed leukemia about
one year ago," explained Dickson. "His family was
tested to see if their bone marrow would be a match for him
- it wasn't. I didn't have time to get tested before deploying,
but I still wanted to do something to help."
With the encouragement of troop commander Lt. Simon Ash, Dickson
enlisted the help of the 18 members of the EOD troop - including
the Royal Engineers, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps dog handlers
and even the Dutch signallers with whom they work as part
of the Incident Response Team in Sipovo.
"I'm glad we were finally able to get everyone together
for the event," said Ash. "It's been a busy tour.
I'm happy Dickson will be able to take the money back to the
Trust when we leave Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of February."
The money was not only raised by 'passing the hat' around
the units in Sipovo and Banja Luka, but Dickson also enlisted
the help of his family at home, and friends at their home
unit, 21 Field Squadron, 33 Engineer Regiment, in Wimbish,
UK, to get sponsorships as well.
"I really want to thank everyone who participated and
helped to raise money," said Dickson. "It means
a lot to me to help Richard. We've been friends since our
days in school."
The participants agreed to run, cycle and row a total of 1,828
km - the distance from Banja Luka to Wimbish. In total each
of the participants ran a 10.5 km route near the Sipovo camp,
rowed 2.7 km on rowing machines and cycled 88 km on stationary
They started at 8:30 am Saturday, Jan. 26th, and completed
the gruelling triathlon by about 6:30 that night - in time
for a couple of beers before a long night's sleep.
Dickson and his troop will return to Wimbish on Feb 20th.
He plans to have his blood tested while home on leave, before
the troop heads out to Kenya in April for a six-week deployment.
Potential bone marrow donors should be 18 to 40 years old,
be in generally good health and should weigh more than 8 stone
(112 pounds). Male donors are urgently needed. Anyone who
is interested in learning more about The Anthony Nolan Trust,
or becoming a bone marrow donor should visit the web site
or contact the Anthony Nolan Trust at 0901 88 22 234 (at a
cost of 25p per call).
Nations of SFOR: UK