'Special Father' gets support
Since THE STAR featured Richard Consalvaries, a struggling single father who has been caring for his chronically ill daughter, he said he has been getting an outpouring of support from many persons who have been touched by his unconditional love for his daughter.
"People call me from Georgia, New York, Portmore, Mandeville, St Elizabeth, Kingston, and even college students call and say they are willing to help after reading the story. I never know that it [the story] broadcast so much," he said.
"There was a lady who called me named Miss Joy, who said when she read the paper and see the part that says 'I will stand by my daughter until my last breath', that part touch her heart, and so many others tell me the same thing," the 37-year old continued.
His daughter, 10-year-old Shanequa, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, associated with ulcers, abdominal pain and sometimes bloody diarrhoea.
When she experiences flare-ups, she goes to the bathroom up to seven times per day, causing her to miss her special-needs classes at the Charagape Child Care Kindergarten and Elementary School in Mandeville.
Consalvaries, who does roofing for a living, also misses out an many work opportunities during these flare-ups as he has to stay home to care for her. Though the situation is difficult, he said he pulls through by the grace of God.
At the time THE STAR published the story on June 2, Consalvaries said his daughter had been out of the important medication called Imuran, which costs some $586,000, since April 15.
The Ministry of Health has since financed two months' supply of the medication.
Heartbroken by the struggles his daughter faces with the disease, Consalvaries believes she would be better off getting treatment overseas, but his income cannot finance that.
Many who have been moved by the situation have offered to help financially, but Consalvaries only recently set up a bank account number where persons can make donations.
"I want to tell everyone thanks so much for their words of advice, for their support, for their encouragement to stay strong and focused. It feels awesome to know that there are so many great people out there," he said.
Those wishing to assist may contact Consalvaries at 877-0576, or make donations to NCB account number 504647455 in the name Shanequa Consalvaries.