Church ral­lies to sup­port Michelle

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Shanna Kaye Mon­teih Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

MICHELLE CUM­BER­LAND is a 44-yearold sin­gle mother of three who faith­fully been a mem­ber of the Moun­tain View New Tes­ta­ment Church of God.

Saints ad­mit that she is al­ways present at church as long as she is not very ill.

But Michelle was born with sickle cell dis­ease and has, over the years, de­vel­oped a coro­nary con­di­tion known as es­chaemic heart dis­ease and is of­ten af­fected by the com­pli­ca­tions as­so­ci­ated with the ill­ness.

She is now un­able to work to sup­port her chil­dren, the youngest of whom is a fiveyear-old girl.

Michelle’s con­di­tion has wor­ried her church fam­ily, who has de­cided to host a fundrais­ing event to aid in pay­ing for the surgery which, they say, she des­per­ately needs.

“Her heart pul­sates out of con­trol, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for her to even help her­self. She is un­able to even sleep com­fort­ably be­cause she has to sit up to not ex­pe­ri­ence this pul­sat­ing of her heart,” said Dikoda Davis, a mem­ber of the church.

Davis told Fam­ily and Re­li­gion that the idea of hav­ing a fundraiser was born out of a dis­cus­sion she and an­other mem­ber were hav­ing.

“I was hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with my friend about Sis Michelle be­ing in and out of the hos­pi­tal and we fig­ured we needed to do some­thing to help her. So we went to our pas­tor about it,” she shared.

Davis pointed out that the sick woman needs surgery im­me­di­ately as she has been post­pon­ing the op­er­a­tion due to the lack of fund­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Davis: “It (the surgery) has been put off four times. The doc­tor had told her that she needs im­me­di­ate surgery be­cause her heart is ex­pand­ing, but ev­ery time she gets a date, there are no funds to get it done. The first time was the lat­ter part of 2014. In ad­di­tion to the en­large­ment, there is a block­age in her heart that is caus­ing her to get sick fre­quently.”

SURGERY COSTS

Davis re­vealed that the surgery costs ap­prox­i­mately $1.3 mil­lion, a sum they hoped to raise at the event and through other do­na­tions.

The fundrais­ing event is set for to­mor­row (Sun­day) and will be done in the form of a choirs in praise and gospel con­cert.

As an act of char­ity, var­i­ous gospel acts such as Chozenn, Per­pet­ual Sounds of Praise, Marq John­son, Fa­vor of God, and Bredda Gav will be part of the evening’s pro­ceed­ings.

Davis is also mak­ing a pub­lic ap­peal for help to those who may not be able to sup­port the event.

Those wish­ing to make a con­tri­bu­tion to Michelle’s surgery may con­tact the Moun­tain View New Tes­ta­ment Church of God at 424-6205 or 569-7696.

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