RURAL EXPRESS - 20-year-old ravaged by cancer
Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer
TRINITYVILLE, St Thomas:
HER WEAK voice, emaciated face, bloated belly, and the oxygen tube said it all. Twenty-year-old Kimberley McGregor of Trinityville, St Thomas, is not well, and she needs urgent help. Cancer has taken over her body, transforming it from buxom to almost skeletal. This has taken place over a matter of only a few months.
When Rural Xpress accompanied her mother, Kim Jarvis-McGregor, days ago, to see her at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in Kingston, where she has been admitted for the past month, Kimberley was in obvious difficulty, choosing to sip some warm beverage through a tube before speaking. And when she did, it was a low, laboured speech, almost childlike, replete with long pauses. It was a poignant moment of human suffering.
According to Jarvis-McGregor, Kimberley's health problems surfaced in February when she removed a cyst from her left ovary. Subsequent test results showed that the ovary on the right had cancerous tumours, which started to multiply within weeks after the removal of the cyst. Since then, Kimberley has been in and out of hospital. She was to undergo an operation on September 23, but her blood count, it is said, was too low for the operation to be carried out. Now, the cancer has spread to her uterus, liver and kidney.
Kimberley's situation has left her mother, father and two sisters in utter distress. The emotional impact is stark, but the financial needs are just as dire. Her mother, who works as a security guard at Paul Bogle High School in the same parish, is the one bearing the brunt of the financial woes as Kimberley's father, who is the victim of a violent beating that occurred some years ago in Kingston, is not working. She is his only child. He is said to be devastated by her illness.
If Kimberley's father is devastated, then Jarvis-McGregor is at her wit's end. She, who works seven days a week, has been travelling to Kingston every day from St Thomas to VJH for the past month, sometimes leaving straight from work. Waiting on the hospital compound between visiting hours is also part of her trials, and so are the lack of money for multiple bus fares, food, diapers, and other essentials.
But of graver concern is that time seems to be running out on Kimberley, and Jarvis-McGregor is scared. "Mi frail mi ago lose hara, just have the fear say mi ago lose her," she said while sobbing.
In the interview, she cried several times saying she was weary, "but hanging in there". "To tell you the God truth, mi tear up inside. But mi have to be strong for her," she said. "Sometimes mi siddung by myself and mi cry." She also told of the day when she cried all the way from Kingston to her place of work. For she is a scared woman, the mother of a daughter who has battled a scary situation herself.
Kimberley's blood count is still low, too low for chemotherapy and an operation. She needs 30 units of AB blood. On November 3, she had four medications prescribed for her, some were bought, but most of them are yet to be filled. They are a bit expensive, and she has absolutely no money. She said she withdrew the last $900 from her account the morning she spoke with Rural Xpress.
Jarvis-McGregor is appealing to members of the public to assist Kimberley in whatever way then can, and if they want to make a financial contribution, they may do so through NCB account number 644210421, Morant Bay branch.