Northern and Western Insurance, has enlisted as a platinum sponsor the second time for Pink Lily’s 5th anniversary walkathon scheduled to be held on October 19, 2013.
This is the second time the international insurance firm has sponsored the walkathon. The firm was the platinum sponsor in 2012. According to a statement circulated by Pink Lily Founder and CEO Lea Parris-Cambridge, the proceeds of the 5th anniversary walkathon will go towards establishing a Pink Lily Cancer Centre.
Northern and Western Insurance’s CEO Devon Harrison, said her firm had chosen Pink Lily Cancer Care due to the care and support the agency offers to persons diagnosed with cancer, cancer survivors, and families of persons affected by cancer.
The insurance firm, supported , Vanessa Taveras, in 2012 by boosting a fund she raised to enable her to get a prosthetic leg after her leg was amputated when she was diagnosed with cancer of the bone. The cost of the prosthetic leg and related expenses exceeded US20,000.
Vanesa Taveras said on Sunday, “When my leg was amputated, the doctor recommended that I get a prosthetic leg. Funds were not there, so, I sent out letters requesting sponsorship. I was told by a good friend of mine, why don’t you contact the offshore banks. Surprisingly I called Northern and Western Insurance and a past student Romell Gaskin whom I had taught in kindergarten and grade three, He connected me to his mother Mariella Gaskin who works for Northern and Western Insurance.
“I spoke to her and she asked me to write a letter and drop it off, We had a very close relationship. I did a lot of fund raising and Mrs Devon Harrison CEO of Northern and Western Insurance promised if I got stuck I should contact her. I was ready to go and I did not have enough funds and she did keep her promise. Northern and Western organized everything. They contacted and coordinated the doctors I should see in Curacao and St. Maarten.. She organized the hotels where I stayed, My sister in St. Maarten was able to take me from there to the clinic.
“Every time Devon is in Nevis she takes me and my children for lunch. Pink Lily Support Coordinator, Tracy Parris, keeps in touch with me. It is a great idea for Pink Lily Cancer Care to be supported to establish a cancer centre. This would help many people access information on how to seek early detection and where to seek treatment.
“Cancer does not give you time, I did not know I had cancer.I was experiencing some pains. In less than two weeks my leg was amputated. This dramatically changed my life in such a short time. I was very privileged to get a prosthesis as many people are on a waiting list. As I waited at a centre to get my prosthetic myleg I realized I was very fortunate as some persons had their two legs amputated.
Thanks to Northern and Western Insurance, Vanessa did not have to wait too long. Devon Harrison recalled Vanessa’s ordeal: “Helping Vanessa was something very specific, she did not have morbility. She was getting worse. She would not have been able to accomplish what she was able to accomplish without Pink Lily. Pink Lily does so much for the community and for other people, even people outside of Nevis.
Mrs Harrison further said:“It is so important to have that commitment and to know you can depend on somebody to write a cheque. You can survive cancer but you need mental and emotional support. If you have a support system, you can make it,” Harrison said when she presented a cheque to Tracy Parris, Pink Lily Cancer Care’s Chair and Client Support Coordinator.
She said she would donate a specific amount monthly to facilitate Pink Lily to give clients support. “I know it is nice to get a one time donation but I also know month to month it is difficult to make ends meet and during the low season, some of your supporters cannot afford to make donations on a regular basis. Northern and Western is inclined to give a monthly donation so that you can have a steady cheque coming. In that way, you will not have to pay from your pockets,” Harrison said.
Harrison further noted that her insurance firm would continue to make a significant donation during the annual walkathons.
Northern and Western Insurance relocated to Nevis in 2004 after operating in Turks and Caicos for four years. “My agent in Turks and Caicos was retiring and going to Belize. I started the quest of where I could move my company. There were no other agents and Turks and Caicos was going down, down, down. I really wanted to be on an island where I would make a difference and be recognized, have a sort of foothold on the community as well.
“We came over to Nevis and we were registered. I was the first general insurance company to be registered in 2004. This paid off. Here we are nine years later. I want to give back. Nevis has given very much to me and I am so fortunate that the company has been able to grow in leaps and bounds and it is all because I was given that opportunity. We choose wisely who we donate to. I just do not want to throw good money to waste. I really want to make a difference in people’s lives,” Harrison said.
Tracy Parris, expressed emotion as she accepted the cheque from Mrs Harrison and said: “My heart is so full of love and gratitude. Devon does not know how much she is doing for us and how much her donation is going to help us to support clients.”