SBA police officer Zacharias Soleas received an honorary distinction from the president for his six years voluntary work at the Karaiskakio Foundation.
The Dhekelia-based 21-year police veteran was recognised for his efforts in obtaining saliva samples for bone marrow donors.
Soleas was presented with his award at the presidential palace on November 1 by Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela and Popi Kanari, president of the Karaiskakio foundation.
Speaking about his involvement with the Karaiskakio Foundation, Soleas 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 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, 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.”