Russell family makes donation to young man with leukemia
April 2, 2015
Russell family makes donation to young man with leukemia

After less than one year of chemotherapy, one 15-year-old has faith that he will be healed.

In May 2014, lecturer Verroll Bailey and his wife Arlene were thrown into a state of shock when they discovered that their only child Floyd had lymphoblastic leukemia.

Since that time, {{more}}the teenager has been in Trinidad and Tobago, where he has been receiving treatment.

Last Friday, Verroll was presented with a cheque for EC$1000, on behalf of the Russell family.

Gwendoline Russell explained that her grandson, Vaughn Russell and Floyd were good friends and when he found out about his friend’s condition, he wanted to help in some way.

“So we gave two free shows [at Russell’s cinema] to the [St Vincent] Grammar School to raise funds to give to Floyd,” she told SEARCHLIGHT.

“And then after my husband died, the family asked that instead of wreaths for his funeral, if people who were going to give the wreaths would donate the money to an account at First St Vincent Bank to give to Floyd.”

The donation from the wreaths was what was handed over to Bailey, last week.

According to the boy’s father, the entire course of his son’s treatment will cost approximately TT$224,000, which is equivalent to EC$112,000.

“We are bound to that for this phase of treatment,” the Prospect resident explained.

“The hospital is an experiment station for all cancers. They are introducing new drugs so sometimes we have to buy additional medicine and if he reacts badly with one, they would want to change it with another one.”

Bailey reported that currently, Floyd is doing well and is scheduled to stop chemotherapy and be put on observation for 21 days; beginning on April 15.

“Floyd is a Christian and he believes that he is going to be healed. Floyd is a Sabbath person. On Friday evening, he likes to be out of the hospital to go to church on Saturday and so forth. He is still having a life. Only the medication causes a lot of reaction,” Bailey said of the St Vincent Grammar School student.

“He is not really worried about school because he is in touch with some of the teachers. He knows what is happening and for us, the family, education is always there. I have no problem with his year or two years out of school. It should not affect him. My worry is his health; if when he does the bone marrow test, it remains very low in remission, that’s the greatest thing, so that he can come back and go for checkups every three months.”

Bailey expressed gratitude to the Russell family and all of Floyd’s friends and the St Vincent Grammar School, who took the initiative to raise funds to help him and keep in contact with him while in Trinidad.

He also thanked FirstCaribbean Bank, who hosted a luncheon last year, in an effort to contribute to his son’s medical bills.

Russell has indicated that they have offered another two cinema shows to the all boys’ institution so that they can arrange to raise more funds for Floyd. Furthermore, the account at the First St Vincent Bank will remain open for persons who wish to make a donation to Floyd. (BK)