We are elated to announce musician for The Compozers, Charles ‘Biggz’ Mensah-Bonsu celebrates REMISSION after being diagnosed with blood cancer one year ago today. Charles plays keyboard in The Compozers along with his three other bandmates Nana, Stephen and David Melodee; and has worked with some of the biggest stars including: Davido, Ed Sheeran, Dave, Wizkid, Burna Boy & Fuse ODG, a CV which most musicians would dream of.
Sadly, last year in February he got the news that his life was to be altered in a different way as he was diagnosed with a rare sub-type of acute myeloid leukaemia called APL (acute promyelocytic leukaemia) a blood cancer characterised by a marked increase in white blood cells.
Whilst remembering the cancer journey Charles said upon his return from a trip in Ghana “I like to have regular blood tests to monitor my general health. On the same day, I had my test, my doctors messaged me, confirming my blood results were abnormal and I had to do a second blood test just to be sure nothing sinister was going on.”
On February 9th Charles reluctantly went to Charing Cross Hospital with concerns. He did what we all do these days and went on google to search for ‘abnormal blood tests’ Charles says: “ Immediately I was presented with so many possibilities as to what could be wrong, with cancer being one of the searched results which stood out the most.”
The daunting realisation for Charles having never needed to go to the hospital for anything before, was when he received a phone call from his doctors to pack an overnight bag as he was scheduled to have a bone marrow biopsy. As a society we have the mentality ‘it will never happen to us’, so after receiving the call from the Doctor, Charles carried on his day like normal. However, it was later that evening Charles eventually went to the hospital, after the doctors called again and confirmed he could potentially have leukaemia, which was why they needed him to be admitted. Charles says “that evening my partner and her parents drove me to Hammersmith Hospital. It was one of the longest and most silent drives I’ve ever had.”
During this period, Charles couldn’t think of anything else but his childhood friend, who at just 15 years of age died from leukaemia. Having already experienced such a painful loss, knowing the outcome of his test results made Charles extremely anxious at the possibility of his own mortality.
Charles says: “I was admitted into hospital and immediately received a bone marrow biopsy to confirm the type of leukaemia I had and how much it had spread. Thankfully, the leukaemia I was diagnosed with was curable through treatments.”
On February 15th 2021, Charles began chemotherapy and completed treatment on November 25th of the same year. Charles has since been given the all-clear; he is now in remission.
Charles mentions “The last year has been one of the scariest times of my life, but I am thankful to God, my partner, my brothers and my parents. I don’t know how I would have got through this without them.”
“It’s important for us as a community to educate ourselves on how WE can overcome some of the health inequalities (the lack of matched donors on the stem cell register), which plagues our community, and which can be tackled from within.” Part of music group, The Compozers, Charles ‘Biggz’ Mensah-Bonsu shares his powerful story today as he celebrates being in remission, one year to the day he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
To find out more about joining the Stem Cell Register, please click HERE
If you are 16-30 years of age and would like to register as a potential Stem Cell donor, you can visit the Anthony Nolan website by clicking HERE
If you are 17-55 years of age and would like to register as a potential Stem cell donor, you can visit the DKMS website by clicking HERE
And, if you are 17 – 65 years of age and would like to donate Blood please click HERE
Let’s celebrate Charles ‘Biggz’ Mensah-Bonsu’s Blood Cancer Remission by listening to him and the rest of The Compozers in the below video.
10th February 2022