UTech students to support 'special father' and child
Following THE STAR's articles on Richard Consalvaries and his undying support for his young daughter, Shanequa, who is battling Crohn's disease, a group of University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) students have planned an awareness event for the rare bowel affliction, and will make a donation to him.
In addition, Emran Thompson, a second-year civil engineering major who heads the group of students, said he also plans to launch a long-term Crohn's Disease Foundation to raise awareness for the disease and assist with Shanequa's medical expenses, and others like her.
Still in the planning phase of the event, the students have been in constant contact with the father-daughter duo.
So far, they have visited the University Hospital of the West Indies, where Shanequa was admitted, and made a small donation of a gift basket and toys.
Consalvaries said he is eternally grateful for the students' efforts.
"I really appreciate everything because they took the time out to make contact with me so often, pertaining to what I'm going through with her. She's my child, and I don't go to the extreme to ask people to do anything, but they found the space in their hearts to come forth and help out," she said.
The event, slated to be held at UTech on July 21, will take the form of a Crohn's and bowel disease health fair under the theme, 'It Takes Guts to Survive'.
Medical practitioners and persons affected by such afflictions will give presentations. The students will also make a financial donation to Consalvaries from what they have collected from corporate Jamaica.
Thompson said the event is part of a course which requires the class to plan and execute an event for someone in need.
"Hearing the story of the father struggling with a child that is sick, and the fact that the mother wasn't really around, I was particularly impressed by that, as our culture doesn't lend itself to that kind of thing," Thompson said.