The evening’s proceedings were hosted by media personality Yendi Phillipps, who encouraged guests’ participation in both foundations by way of not only cash donations, but also their time. The evening’s programme saw an introduction to the recently launched Sickle Cell Support Foundation by Vice-President of Marketing Natalie Roach, who informed that “one in every 150 babies that are born is positive with sickle cell”. Also on the card last Thursday was an address by Commander John McFarlane, chairman of the Kidney Support Foundation, who shared about the first kidney transplant done in the Caribbean.
Former Miss Jamaica 2011 Shakira Martin, who succumbed to sickle cell earlier this year, was remembered in a moving tribute by Caribbean Institute for Health research nurse Annabelle Nunes, who is also afflicted with the disease and is tireless in her efforts to bring awareness about sickle cell in the region. Meanwhile, guest speaker Mariame McIntosh-Robinson, CEO of First Global Bank Ltd, addressed the attendees on her experiences with the lifestyle illness myasthenia gravis, and gave a four-point checklist to decreasing stress levels and ensuring healthy mental and physical lifestyles.