Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
The Guardian Angel Foundation is understandably close to Craig 'Craigy T' Thompson's heart.
A member of TOK, Craigy T explained to The Sunday Gleaner that he decided to start the foundation after going through a personal experience in his life which saw him changing his diet and his way of life.
"At the end of 2009, I was diagnosed with a minor heart problem which was caused by hypertension. My doctor believed it was caused by my weight, so he told me that I had to drop some weight, and do it quickly. I had to completely change my lifestyle. I started doing online research about the problem, and I started moving away from processed food and just submerging myself in healthier routines," he said.
That research would lead him to start The Guardian Angel Foundation in 2010 which aims at eradicating hypertension in Jamaica.
Thompson stated that he set a high goal of not just reducing the problem, but getting rid of it altogether.
"The disease can go by undetected for years. People don't normally focus on diseases such as hypertension because it's not an immediate killer. People get more sensitive when things are more graphic," he added.
Craigy T can boast of his healthy lifestyle changes, having lost over 90 pounds since being diagnosed. He has also been off high blood pressure medication for more than a year since adopting a healthier lifestyle.
With the foundation now in its third year, plans are under way to set up blood pressure stations in all parishes, starting with St Andrew.
"This is one of the goals we have, but we are in need of sponsorship. What we are focusing on right now is getting the message out there and educating people on the positive benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The foundation has already made several donations to the golden age home, but as far as setting up the blood pressure machines, we really are in need of heavy sponsorship," said Craigy T.
The foundation takes its name from one of TOK's biggest songs, and Craigy T certainly appears to be a guardian angel to many afflicted by the disease.
With help from the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, Mall Pharmacy and Everybody's Pharmacy in Cross Roads, The Guardian Angel Foundation is on track to achieve its goals.
Plans are also under way to host a fund-raising event scheduled for the Christmas season. Persons who are interested in being part of the foundation can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.