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New York Gala to raise funds for ailing health care system

Published:Tuesday | November 24, 2015 | 11:00 AMShanna Monteith

In an attempt to raise money to support the health-care system in Jamaica, popular media blogger and socialite Tina Chin will be hosting her inaugural Red Carpet Gala in Queens, New York.

The proceeds from the event, scheduled for November 27, will aid in improving the local paediatric cancer treatment. Funds will also be made available to Jamaicans who are suffering from the chronic illness.

Chin, a native of the island who has been living abroad for the last 20 years, recently established a blog via social media which focuses on various local issues affecting the diaspora.

'Blogeye', as she calls it, also serves as a platform to highlight successful locals and those in dire situations, such as the story of Fortella Pickersgill, who, along with her family, was living under a tarpaulin.

"Every day, I would read stories of young children who are waiting for financial assistance for cancer treatment, to no avail. One particular case is of a young girl who had a tumour growing, but because her family was lacking funds, she couldn't get the help she desperately needed," Chin told The Gleaner.

Performing at the gala will be international reggae songstress Etana and reggae recording artiste Chuck Fenda.

Chin says her humanitarianism sparked from her own earlier struggles.

"I remember a time in my life when I had nothing left. I had to start my life all over again. I took any job I could get and worked my way to where I am today," she said, adding that since then, she has decided to lend a helping hand to those in need.

According to Chin: "I chose to support the health system specifically because of the many emails of complaints my blog has been receiving. The constant complaints about the poor state of the health system of my native home have made me uncomfortable. I've also received unfavourable videos of staff at a famous public hospital 'talking smack' to patients."

However, the philanthropist told The Gleaner that she does not post everything she receives, as she tries to protect the image of her first home (Jamaica).

"Sometimes, I even wonder if some of the stories I get are too big for me to expose," Chin said, admitting that she wouldn't want the various people involved to lose their jobs on her account.

But despite her big heart and well wishes, the blogger says that she dislikes injustice, as she recalls a time when she was a victim.

Chin has big hopes for her Red Carpet Gala, which is to be held on a yearly basis.

"I pray for its success as it will allow me to assist my fellow Jamaicans back home.