Sharing inspiration

2009-10-13 00:00

FIVE children with leukaemia have starring roles in a music video for the song The Day I Sang For You — and they and the singer, Durban’s Lauren Laing, hope that those who watch it will be inspired to raise money for the charity which gives them hope, the Sunflower Fund.

The video was shot at Parklands Hospital, but instead of focusing on the grim reality of the children’s ­disease, it focuses on the fun times that the friends got up to — from playing card games, to practising make-up application on each other, and, much to the nurses’ ­horror, fast-paced rides in wheelchairs, and standing on the hospital beds as if they were stages and singing and dancing.

Laing, who is an ambassador of hope for the Sunflower Fund, was ­inspired to write the song by one of her young co-stars, 16-year-old ­Layla Meiring who is from Richards Bay.

The pair met when Laing visited her friend Kale Bonhomne, in the ­oncology ward at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital. She had asked the leukaemia patient how she could make his stay in hospital more pleasant, and he had asked her to come and sing for the friends he had made in hospital.

Recalling her meeting with Layla, Laing said: “She had no hair but a gorgeous big smile and shining eyes, and she taught me that the patients didn’t need me, I needed them. Her positivity and faith in fighting her disease blew me away, so much so, that the next day I started writing The Day I Sang for You.

“I hope that it will move people to share a little and possibly save the life of someone suffering with ­leukaemia by becoming a bone ­marrow stem-cell donor.”

Laing’s friend Bonhomne, lost his battle with leukaemia two weeks ­after her visit, but Layla’s prospects are brighter as her brother Luke is her perfect bone-marrow stem-cell match.

Asked how she had enjoyed taking part in the music video shoot, the teenager said: “I never thought I would be part of a music video, and it was by the far the coolest thing I have ever done.”

Her fellow stars — Rahul Singh, Kadeshia Pillay, Megan Swart and Charlynn Brower — were just as ­enthusiastic.

“I felt like Hannah ­Montana, and I am practising my autograph for fans,” 10-year-old Kadeshia said.

TO view the music video, visit http://ww.youtube.com/watch?v=zoskiFUMT4k

Lauren Laing will participate in the Love & Hope event at the Heritage Theatre, Hillcrest, tomorrow, the Sunflower Fund’s National Bandana Day, during which the music video, The Day I Sang For You, will be screened.

Tickets at R230 include a show by the Gee Jays, a two-course meal and lucky-draw prizes. Sunflower rings made by the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, The Day I Sang for You CDs, Love & Hope merchandise and Sunflower bandanas will be on sale. To book, phone Stephanie Berry at 078 207 9041.

The Day I Sang For You can be downloaded from the Exactmusic website for R16,99. Alternatively SMS 281 919 70 to 33333. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Sunflower Fund to help it build the South African Bone Marrow Registry.

To find out more visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za

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