Help! Mother liv­ing on hope and prayer

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

OLECIA LAWRENCE, mother of Azari Brown, who will cel­e­brate his sec­ond birth­day in Au­gust is liv­ing on hope and a prayer as she looks for a mir­a­cle for her son who has been di­ag­nosed with Stage 4 neu­rob­las­toma can­cer.

Brown’s only chance of sur­vival is a bone mar­row trans­plant which must be done in the United States of Amer­ica. This rare disease grows in nerve tis­sue of ba­bies and young chil­dren.

Lawrence, who can hardly find the bus fare to make the trek from Rock River in Claren­don, to the Bus­ta­mante Hospi­tal for Chil­dren in Kingston, said she is in de­spair, won­der­ing how he will get the surgery done.

“I am heart­bro­ken, do you know what it feels like as a mother to look at your child, feel­ing help­less, won­der­ing, just won­der­ing if he will get the chance to make it,” she said as her voice cracked.

Pour­ing out her pain to The Gleaner, she said the chal­lenges are many and she feels out of her depths. How­ever, she said she can­not af­ford to give up.

“Liv­ing in Claren­don, I have to go to Kingston for his chemo treat­ment. His im­mune sys­tem has weak­ened, so he can­not be around other per­sons. I can­not take public trans­porta­tion, so we have to find gas for the car that his dad uses to work,” she said.

Lawrence is also thank­ful for small mer­cies as she said she had to pur­chase eye drops for him weekly, but since last month, the hospi­tal has been sup­ply­ing her with the drops.


With time run­ning out, Lawrence said his on­col­o­gist con­tacted a hospi­tal over­seas, but a test had to be done first. Ac­cord­ing to her, it was tak­ing “for­ever” to get it done so she had to make a de­ci­sion for the doc­tors to be­gin treat­ment in Ja­maica. Her son has to do a mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing, but she has no idea when, as he is on the wait­ing list at num­ber 68. The test will be done free of cost, but at two tests per day, it will be a while be­fore his turn comes. “I need help, I need a mir­a­cle … I need some­one to care, just give me the chance to en­joy my child,” she pleaded. Look­ing ahead, Lawrence is hop­ing that ev­ery­thing will fall into place. Lawrence can be reached at 876-366-7347.


Olecia Lawrence and her son Azari Brown.

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