Rudolph Bissessarsingh, father of late historian and Hummingbird Medal recipient Angelo Bissessarsingh, tearfully recalled his son’s life as his memory and legacy were honoured at the launch of the Cancer Society’s temporary facilities at Dundonald Street, Port of Spain last week Thursday.
Bissessarsingh said while it has been almost a year since his son’s death from pancreatic cancer, he is still deeply pained by the loss and urged people to honour the heroes of the organisation who have worked towards providing comfort and ease to cancer patients.
Recalling his final visit to his son at the St James Cancer Center, Bissessarsingh said doctors and staff worked tirelessly to ensure the comfort of patients.
“Everyone from the doctors, to the nurses, the security, even the person at the door holding the umbrellas were like angels. We often spend millions of views and time giving toxic people attention, but these are the true heroes of society. These are the people who come out for small salaries, who leave their families behind and come out for love.”
Bissessarsingh also became emotional when he recalled his son’s role as Santa Claus for the annual Christmas pageant in Fyzabad where he would often spend large sums of money on gifts for children. He said his son believed in the goodness of people and did his best to emulate his philosophy of service before self.
“I recall one particular year where the newspaper advertised that Santa would be coming to town, close to 4,000 children showed up to the pageant. Angelo contacted one of his friends and took out a loan just to ensure that he could cater for all of the children. That was the kind of person he was,” an emotional Bissessarsingh recalled.
Chairman of the organisation Dr George Laquis said he was pleased with the opening of the centre and said despite being a temporary move, he was optimistic that it was a step in the right direction towards the fight against cancer. Citing a recent ICare social media campaign to increase awareness, he said newer and innovative approaches have yielded success in terms of membership and awareness.
The facility houses a state of the art mammogram machine, which can be used to better detect early signs of breast cancer, and accommodation including treatment rooms and a clinic.
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