JIS News

A fundraising gospel concert will be held at the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School, to raise funds to assist a resident of the town who suffers from sickle cell anemia.
The concert is scheduled for Sunday (February 14), and is in aid of 29-year-old Keino Ward, who suffers from sickle cell anemia and needs do hip surgery, urgently, to save her legs.
Miss Ward has been plagued by the disease since age 16, and is in need of over $250.000 for the operation. The concert will seek to raise some of the funds needed for the operation, which will be done at the University Hospital of the West Indies (HWI), Mona.
Minister with the Kingston based Harvest of Hope congregation, Leighton Smith, told JIS News that the organizers were asking persons, “near and far” to come on board and support the effort.
“In these days you don’t know what will happen to you down the road, so once you can give a helping hand now, do it. Even if you are not coming, you can purchase a ticket in support of the event,” Mr. Smith pleaded.
Last year the Caribbean District of Optimists International made a contribution of $15,000 towards the funding of the hip surgery. Chair of the Cancer Committee, Heather Ambersley, stressed that the event is about easing a plight. She said that Optimists in Mandeville and South Clarendon will be supporting the event.
“She has an aim to set up a fund where she can help children who are suffering with sickle cell disease. So, I ask for support for a worthy cause, as we try to make a difference in Keino’s life,” Mrs. Ambersley said.
A number of popular Gospel stars, including Goddy Goddy, Joan Flemmings, Hensley King and Sister Scully, are booked to perform at the event.
Sickle cell anemia is a serious disease in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells (sickle-shaped means that the blood cells are shaped like a C).
Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and move easily through the blood vessels. Sickle-shaped cells don’t move easily through the blood vessels. They tend to form clumps and get stuck in the blood vessels, blocking blood flow to the limbs and organs, causing pain, serious infections and organ damage.
The hip surgery will correct severe pain and maintain Miss Ward’s mobility.

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