Fri | May 26, 2017

Mario Spencer fights for his life

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Mario Spencer needs help to do surgery.
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IT HAS not been an easy road for 22-year-old Mario Spencer. A bone cancer survivor since he was a 15-year-old student attending St George's College, he is now in need of a tumour prosthesis procedure.

Not one to give up, he has taken his story to the crowd-funding platform gofundme.com, but with time running out to save his foot, he is hoping he will get the help he needs in time to ensure he can live a normal life.

"This procedure is very important because it is going to save my leg. It should allow me to walk better and, hopefully, run again," he told Rural Xpress.

Spencer is to matriculate to the University of the West Indies come September, where he will be studying entertainment and cultural enterprise management. He has no chance of that unless he does the surgery, which will cost some $2 million.

Last year, his doctor discovered that the proximal tibia is that of a cadaver (dead flesh) and is slowly breaking away. The tibial plateau is destroyed and, according to the diagnosis, it is expected to worsen over time.

After a long battle which included chemotherapy to save his leg, with the doctor suggesting amputation to prevent the cancer from spreading, Spencer is looking forward to yet another miracle.

Having missed out on one dream, he is praying this one at least will be his.

"My dream ever since I was a little boy was to play football for an international club like Chelsea or Barcelona. Football was my life growing up. I was a bit sad at first when I found out I won't be able to play professionally or even for fun," he said.

The saving grace about it all was that he has another passion, one that doesn't involve being energetic and that is music. And that's where he is now putting all his energies.

Spencer said he is feeling hopeful about getting the procedure done. He is also thanking God for social media as, so far, he has managed to raise US$850 from the requested US$20,000 - the amount needed for the surgery.

When he is tempted to get discouraged or give up, Spencer said the fact that he is still breathing is all the motivation he needs to keep going.

"I know where I could have been. I've seen so many persons around me lose loved ones to cancer and to know that I'm still here is an honour."

There are days, Spencer said, when he just sits and reflects on where he is coming from and that's when the praises for God pours out.

Spencer gives credit to his close family unit whom he said keeps him motivated which includes his mother Cecelia Legister and his four-year-old brother. "Sometimes he'll just randomly come to me and ask me if my foot is hurting and put his hand on it and pray for me. It always puts a smile on my face," he shared.

There is one thing this young man is looking forward to doing once he gets the procedure done and that's a more active lifestyle fitting in the things he is yet to do.

rural@gleanerjm.com