Posthumous award for Life Sciences student
Fellow students have paid tribute to Charles (Chaz) Blinstrub, who is to be awarded a posthumous Diploma in Higher Education Life Sciences at the graduation ceremony this afternoon (Thursday 19 July).
Chaz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in July 2011 and died from complications of the disease in February 2012, aged just 25 and before he could complete his studies at Sussex.
A talented musician with a love of nature who was planning to become a teacher, Chaz made a big impression on music fans and classmates alike.
Before coming to Sussex, Chaz had completed a two-year Countryside Management course at the Berkshire College of Agriculture and had earned an HND at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, in drum. He went on to play bass with roots-rock-reggae band The Drop.
But it was his passion for nature and the environment – and a desire to make a difference – that led him to study at Sussex.
Although his time at Sussex was cut short by illness, during the final months of his life he managed to raise more than £4,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
He also urged his family to continue his fund-raising efforts with the Anthony Nolan charity for blood-cancer patients so that others could benefit from treatment that could not help him, and fulfill his desire to make a difference.
After Chaz’s death, fellow students told his family: “Chaz is massively missed at Sussex and classes are sadly quieter without him! He was an amazingly positive and loving person and we are lucky to have known him. His memory will live on in every one of us.”
Chaz’s parents Steve and Kate Blinstrub will be attending the graduation ceremony at the Brighton Dome, where they will see Chaz’s friend Ramy Masouz receive Chaz’s degree from the Chancellor, Sanjeev Bhaskar.