Blog Archive

Monday, June 22, 2015

Another Graduation, Another World

Kishroy Forde
Last week we posted about Rose Bender, a young lady with hemophilia (rare in itself!) who was accepted to Ivy League schools and who has so far lead a rich and rewarding life, supported by family, filled with promise.

Kishroy at work
Another young person who has graduated is Kishroy Forde, about the same age as Rose but from an entirely different world. He lives on Mayreau Island, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, accessible only by boat. From Boston or New York? You'd have to take three planes and a chartered boat to get to his home. 
Kishroy (far left) and his classmates

Kishroy could not have grown up in a more different world than Rose. Isolated on this remote island, which only has had electricity for the past 10 years, living in a house without a bathroom, no immediate access to medical care and certainly no factor. Kishroy's father is a simple fisherman, earning about $40 a month. His little brother with hemophilia, Kishron, died at age 11 from a GI bled. His mother soon after abandoned the family to go to a nearby island and start another family.

Kishroy struggled to stay in school due to his bleeds and lack of factor. He has to take a boat to school daily! Project SHARE shipped him factor from time to time, to keep him alive, and healthy enough to finish school. Thank God for FedEx!

I visited Kishroy on Mayreau Island last February, after not seeing him since he was 6. I was shocked to see, at the docks when I landed, a 140 lb, 6 foot 2 inch beanpole of a young man greet me. Still soft-spoken and gentle, harboring no anger or bitterness at his lot in life, he embraced me and thanked me for the support from our company.

And he surprised me. On an island of only 300 people, most of whom live and die there, he told me he wanted to go to technical school and get an electrical engineering degree. I promise to foot the bill if he could register and study hard. 

He did. Without family support, with few options in life, with hemophilia bleeds hobbling him (there are no wheelchairs or crutches even on hte island) he did it. I am as proud of Kishroy as I am of Rose. Two young people from different worlds, who both value education and are determined to be independent, contributing members of their very different societies, despite the same bleeding disorder.

Fire is the test of gold, adversity of strong men. Seneca

(Thanks to John Parler for sponsoring Kishroy through Save One Life!)


Good Book I Just Read
How to Be a Great Boss
Jeffrey J. Fox

This quick read covers how to be more effective at getting people you work with or manage to be more productive and responsive to you, and how to be better and more effective with your customers. Bottom line? Your customers are your lifeline; they provide the revenues. Treat them like god. Teach your staff to treat them like god. Be attentive, caring, give them what they need. The boss sets the tone for the company, especially regarding how customers will be treated. Three out of five stars.


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