Cancer survivor set to give back this Christmas
Getting a jump on the jingle bells, concerts and night-life sessions to start over this week until the new year, Dorothy Satchwell, founder of the MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation, has garnered the support from her own multiplicity of reggae stars to perform for a benefit concert dubbed 'Cancer Awareness through Music'.
Through several fundraising initiatives (including the annual banquet held in April), Satchwell has been able to raise funds to donate to research and acquire equipment to improve the techniques for the detection of cancer and other diseases. This year's banquet was in aid of purchasing a computated tomography CT Scanner, however, satchwell; told The Gleaner that "one banquet would not be enough or earn enough to make the purchase".
In fact, a hospital in Miami was to donate a used CT Scanner, but the hospital was severely affected by the hurricanes in the past months. Now, Satchwell is on a mission to create change in Westmoreland by hosting a new style of charity event for the purpose of raising awareness outside of the usual (cancer awareness) month of October.
"Banquets attract different people. It is more a formal sit down and I want to get the attention of persons from all calibres of life. Where music is concerned, it is something that binds people together, and with artiste who are well loved, it is likely to bring hope," she said.
The concert will feature performances from a wide range of entertainers, including reggae greats Freddie McGregor, Protoje, Judy Mowatt (first female nominated for a Grammy Award in 1985), saxophonist Dean Fraser and Jamaican dub poet Yasus Afari, all of whom have volunteered their time and talents free of cost.
"December is a month that most persons consider to be a jolly time, but it can be a traumatic time for persons who have lost a loved one in the middle of the year, especially knowing that the Christmas season is the one time people get together. The event is also to provide support for persons experiencing just that," Satchwell said.
Satchwell, who hails from Darliston in Westmoreland, was diagnosed with one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer almost seven years ago. She underwent a double mastectomy through three or four surgeries due to the extent of the cancer, and came out a survivor. She launched the foundation in 2015, where a total of eight major health fairs were hosted annually in Westmoreland.
Cancer Awareness through Music will be held in an effort to build a respite day centre in Bluefield, in the parish. The centre will feature expansive gardens and green space, providing attendees and their families with a powerful relief that promotes healing in conjunction with first-rate relief, care and support. It will offer positive diversions from the stresses of being in a hospital.
The gates of Wavz Beach on Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril will open at 4 p.m., and the evening will start out with free screenings for breast and prostate cancers along with free tests for diabetes, cholesterol, HIV, syphilis and heart disease. Additionally, in keeping with a more holistic approach to healthy living, the foundation will provide psychological, pastoral and nutritional counselling to create a wholesome support package.
Patrons of the concert will experience an evening filled with soothing performances and elegance, hosted by Heather Cummings and Ron Muschett.
Satchwell added, "This is not just an event, it's about giving back during the season of giving."