The Acrobat Challenge, the latest hashtag-driven fundraising campaign, is inviting trombonists around the world to play the same tune and donate to a medical fund for fellow trombonist Stephen Sykes who has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
The #SwabforSykes campaign has two objectives – first, to raise funds for Sykes’ treatment, which is not available on the NHS, and secondly to urge more people to register as a blood stem cell donor, in the hope that one will be a match for him.
Trombonists have videoed themselves playing the same tune, ‘The Acrobat’, the popular solo for trombone by John Greenwood. They have then shared them with the hashtag #SwabforSykes and a link to his GoFundMe.com fundraising page. Some have then nominated other individuals or indeed bands or musical groups to join in.
Sometimes the idea of a ‘solo’ is completely ignored!
Get well soon Steve. Great to be with the NYBB this week. https://t.co/9R2VBScSUN
— Peter Moore (@pete_moore_) April 15, 2017
Other brass players have also joined in:
— Martin Smith (@euphony1941) April 8, 2017
The appeal hit the £100,000 mark yesterday evening, passing its original goal of £90,000.
Within a month of the campaign’s launch in February 2017 it had also inspired over 1,100 people to register as stem cell donors.
Given the focus on the tune for the campaign, the hashtag #acrobatchallenge is also being used.
About Stephen Sykes
Stephen Sykes is 26 years old and an accomplished trombonist, conductor and guitarist. In 2009 he won the BBC Radio 2 Brass Soloist of the Year competition, and has conducted at Glastonbury.
He was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in February 2016. He has undergone six rounds of chemotherapy, but has now been told that a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor is his best chance of survival.
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