By Kadeem Joseph
An organiser of fundraising activities to assist injured national cyclist Andre Simon, who is in dire need of overseas medical treatment, is reminding residents that “every bit helps”.
One such activity conducted last weekend has realised a sizeable amount toward the fund that will go towards his airlift to and treatment in Texas, USA.
Joshuanette Francis, one of the main organisers of a walk and ‘cyclathon’ event on Friday — a collaboration between Irene B Williams Secondary, All Saints Secondary, Liberta Primary, JT Ambrose Primary, and Cobbs Cross Primary schools — said she was grateful for the support.
There was also a hike on Sunday morning in collaboration with the 5AM Hikers group, with both events netting just over EC$10,000, according to Francis.
Simon’s loved ones are battling to raise US$500,000 to send him to the US.
The amount “is a lot of money and these small efforts are what will assist them in getting Andre the air ambulance and getting him to that hospital in Texas,” Francis said.
She continued that she has been amazed by the magnitude of support given thus far, from businesses and individuals alike, with almost 100 people contributing to the weekend’s fundraising activities.
“The family appreciates any effort, any money that you give. Even if you can’t make it to these events, check out his Facebook page; there are several banking information that you can use to transfer some funds to the account,” she explained.
“My slogan is, if you don’t have plenty money, transfer $10. A hundred people transferring $10 is $1,000.”
Simon was severely injured in a road accident on May 8 after he and three other cyclists were struck by a vehicle. Kenyatta Benjamin, a 39-year-old man from Hatton, was later charged with dangerous driving.
While Simon, who suffered head injuries, has been released from the hospital’s intensive care unit, he remains under close observation with the family remaining hopeful that there will be more signs of his recovery amid fundraising efforts.
A major concert staged on June 11 netted EC$11,050 and the family is presently engaged in talks with government regarding lending additional support.
A GoFundMe account – found at https://gofund.me/49f11497 – has so far raised more than US$54,500.
People can also make donations via the Caribbean Union Bank at account #20004089, the Community First Credit Union at account #098425, or the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank at account #131003564.