Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Slain super dad's daughter battling cancer, seeks help - Difficult road for family

Published:Wednesday | July 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/ Gleaner Writer
Dolmina Mills flanked by her grandnieces Alesha and Alecia Mills.
Conroy Nelson (centre) shares an embrace with twin daughters Alesha (left) and Alicia in 2013, three years before he was gunned down in his community.
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LONGVILLE PARK, Clarendon:

In October 2013, The Gleaner highlighted a story of single father Conroy Nelson of Farm, Effortville, in Clarendon, who took charge of his twin daughters to the admiration of those around him.

READ: Proud single father credits daughters for changing his life

Almost six years to the date, the twins lives have seen some upheavals. 

In 2016, they lost their father in a shooting incident in his community. 

One of the twins, Alesha, fondly called 'Janice', was shot and injured in the same incident. Today, the other twin - Alecia (Jonelle) is now in the fight of her life as she battles acute leukaemia.

Nelson's aunt, Dolmina Mills, who resides in Longville Park, Clarendon, undertook responsibility of the 10-year-old twins since their father's death, but is struggling to give them the kind of care they need as the hospital bills for Jonelle's chemotherapy is climbing. She has already expended almost $114,000 for chemotherapy and is yet to identify where the money for the next five treatments will be coming from.

"The last time, I got assistance from friends, and since then, I have been pleading on Facebook with no results. I have also been reaching out to other sources," she informed.

Mills, who has placed her trust in the Lord, said she is not giving up and she knows somehow her grandniece will get the assistance she needs to complete the treatment.

A hairdresser by profession, Mills said when she first got the twins, her job took a back seat as they needed all her attention.

 

EMOTIONAL JOURNEY

"It was hard for me to work, they were so sad and lonely. Even though they went to counselling, I still had to deal with the constant tears and the many episodes of sadness they experienced," she shared.

"I do my best, everything a mother can give to a child, but I believe something is missing. They were very, very close," said Mills on the children's relationship with their father. Her speech slowed, a dark look came in her eyes and inevitably the tears started rolling down her cheeks. Seated beside her, Jonelle started crying uncontrollably and had to be comforted as she listened to her aunt talking about her late father.

Somewhat under control, but tears still lurking, Jonelle, who was diagnosed with cancer in January of this year, stated her belief in God and says she is looking forward to being healed. She said she also prays a lot for herself.

"It's really, really hard, outside of the chemo treatment, to find the fare to go to the University Hospital of the West Indies for her treatment and visit, plus I have a bone marrow test which cost US$200 for each child to be done, it will be sent to Miami," Dolmina Mills said, taking back control of the conversation.

She said Jonelle's twin, Janice, bone marrow is the likely choice to assist her sister.

Mills said she is trying to tackle one problem at a time, as should the bone marrow prove to be a perfect match, then the transplant expense will become another factor to deal with.

 

MEDICATION SHORTAGE

Mills is supposed to take her grandniece back to the hospital today, and she should have received a medication before the visit and that has not been done.

"That's another challenge for me which has nothing to do with the money, they (Kingston Public Hospital) and other pharmacies don't have the medication, so along with the financial crisis, I'm dealing with shortage of medication," she said sighing.

Mills said she is reaching out to kind-hearted Jamaicans here and in the diaspora, to assist her in the fight in the spirit of their late father, who would have done anything for his children to ensure they are OK.

 

How you can help

Funds can be lodged to Dolmina Mills account 10199325, serviced at Jamaica National, May Pen Branch. Mills can be contacted at 876-783-6531 or 876-588-4610.

 

Report on father's death

On September 19, 2016, Conroy Nelson, 33, was shot and killed in front of his daughter, while they were sitting on the veranda at home.

The incident happened about 6:30 p.m. in the Farm area of Effortville, Clarendon.

A gunman reportedly entered the premises and opened fire, hitting them.

Nelson was pronounced dead at hospital, while the child and another person were admitted in stable condition.

Previous feature: 'Daddy's little girl's: Proud single father credits daughters for changing his life', published on October 12, 2013.

rural@gleanerjm.com